Research and Innovation
The Research and Innovation Special Committee was established by WCRDE with the global focus to:
Initiate a meta-study of qualitative on the state of research and innovation in open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning
Identify the grand challenges of research in open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning
Encourage cooperation amongst WCRDE members on research and innovation (Research & Innovation); and
Advise the WCRDE Board Members on Research & Innovation issues.
Research and Innovation Special Committee - final report
The WCRDE Research and Innovation Special Committee conducted research in 2016 to better understand the state of research and innovation in open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning across WCRDE members. The Special Committee is led by Prof. Thiyagu Nagaraj, Registrar at International Non-Olympic University India.
This research was conducted in the form of a survey disseminated to WCRDE Board members in January to April 2016. Analysis of data demonstrated a number of trends as well as insight into next steps.
In concluding this stage of the research the following elements were reported:
That the respondents targeted for the survey was correct for their ability and knowledge of their institutions strategies.
That a wide range of educational institutions from within the WCRDE members responded, ensuring that the data was not skewed toward predominantly large or small institutions.
That resource is primarily provided centrally for innovation in learning and teaching however, however, predominately this equates to a low percentage of total spend across the institution.
Educational institutions highlighted that future research might focus on Massive Open Online Courses and Open Educational Resources. Although, flipped classrooms was a reoccurring theme which is in line with broader developments globally within the education sector. Quality issues remain a topic of concern.
According to respondents it was felt that learning analytics and blended learning would be of immediate concern over the next 6 months.
The most prevalent concerns in using new technology for teaching and research was a lack of knowledge about technologies and the corresponding fast pace of change along with adequate and appropriate professional development of staff.
Approximately 75% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that in ten years that there would only be a small group of global providers comprising of large brand universities and companies.
The split was fairly even with regards to whether the majority of teaching will be online in the next five years. However, 50% agreed and 10% strongly agreed that automated assessment and analytics will form at least half of the student feedback within ten years.
There was an acknowledgement towards the movement for increased inclusion of open content constituting to at least 60% of all courses within ten years.
Nearly 75% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that how education is delivered will substantially change over the next decade.
A strong and encouraging response of 95% was had from respondents wishing for further collaboration within the WCRDE and INOC network to undertake research, with 90% responding positively to publication and dissemination of this research.
Research and Innovation Speical Commmittee members
Prof. Thiyagu Nagaraj, The International Non-Olympic University (Chair)
Prof. Rakesh Pandey
Dr Khursheed Alam