October 20, 2014

Instructional design, the academy and industry: a ‘blended’ event

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image © eLearning Industry Companies, 2013

image © eLearning Industry Companies, 2013

What: The Academy and Industry: Exploring Instructional Design Roles

In a professional discipline, sometimes there can be uneasy tensions between those in the Academy (i.e. professors and researchers) and those in industry. This collaborative event will attempt to highlight some of the tensions that exist in instructional design. How do I.D. practices and conditions differ in the Academy vs in the corporate sector? How important is it to keep up with current research? What value is placed on formal credentials, or practical experience? Join us in our discussion online, and attend the culminating panel session.

Who: CNIE (Canadian Network for Innovation) + CAID (Canadian Association of Instructional Designers – ACCP en français)

When and how:

EDEN research workshop on open and distance learning

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Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

What: Challenges for research into Open & Distance Learning: Doing Things Better: Doing Better Things

EDENRW8 is very focussed on you the researcher and what you can learn from and with your peers.  It takes place in an intimate setting where researchers including postgraduate students can share research, connect with peers and have adequate time to discuss the challenges of their work. EDENRW8 is suitable for researchers and postgraduate students and particularly those wishing to actively connect with peers and debate

When: 27-28 October, 2014

Who: Organized by EDEN (the European Distance and e-Learning Network) and hosted by the Open University (U.K.)

Where: The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel, Oxford, U.K.

Format: This is not your usual conference program and definitely a workshop format! ….The networking occurs as an essential aspect of your experience. Featuring small groups for deep dialogues, feedback on your research, team symposia, ‘research-speed-dating’ papers, demonstrations, poster sessions, a connect lounge, informal sessions for meet the professor for early career and postgraduate researchers, world café style facilitation and presentations along with our resident keynotes.


Call for contributions: Submissions that relate to the Workshop Scope and one or more of the Workshop Themes are welcome in the following categories by the deadline: 1 September. You are encouraged to submit your proposal earlier to support a speedy evaluation of the proposals and enhance your possibility to register early in time. Proposals submitted before summer will be evaluated within two weeks.

Online submission: Click here

Registration does not open until 1 September 2014


I really like the EDEN research workshops. They are usually relatively small (around 100 or so participants), informal and great for networking. If you have any interest in research into online learning, open or distance education, this is a must.

EDEN Annual Conference 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

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What: E-learning at work and the workplace. This is the 2014 annual conference of The European Distance and E-Learning Network

When: June 10 – 14, 2014

Where: The  Hypo Centre, Zagreb, Croatia

Who: Keynote speakers include:

  • Alan Tait Professor of Distance Education and Development, The Open University, United Kingdom
  • Jeff Haywood Vice-principal, Knowledge Management at University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Blaženka Divjak Vice Rector for Students and Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Ana Carla Pereira (via video link) Head of Unit at European Commission, Directorate-General Education and Culture
  • Terry Anderson Director, Canadian Institute Distance Education Research (CIDER), Athabasca University, Canada
  • Olaf Zawacki-Richter Professor of Educational Technology, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • Jim Devine DEVINE Policy | Projects | Innovation, Ireland
  • Fabrizio Cardinali (Invited) SVP Global Business Development, sedApta Group,LACE Project, Workplace Learning

How: You may just have time to submit a paper, but otherwise registration is not yet open but should be at any time from now. Go to the conference web site for more details


The EDEN conference is one of my favourite conferences on open, distance and online learning. And Zagreb is one of my favourite European cities. This year’s theme though brings it directly into competition with the much larger and more commercial Online Educa Berlin, which takes place each year in December. However, as well as the theme and keynotes, it’s a great networking opportunity and a chance to meet the university movers and shakers in European online, open and distance learning.

CNIE 2014 conference: Confluences: Spaces, Places & Cultures for Innovative Learning

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What: The Canadian Network for Innovation in Education annual conference:

CNIE affiliated institutions are comprehensive, blending academic, professional and vocational cultues through both face to face and distance delivery modes, serving a vibrant and diverse student population. The confluence of these diverse elements has created synergy and innovative learning opportunities.

 Through this conference, we provide an avenue to explore and discuss the innovative learning that can arise when various elements come together. Explore your own confluences of spaces, places and cultures and the creativity they bring to the learning process.

For a report of last year’s CNIE conference in Ottawa, click here

Where: Beautiful Kamloops in the interior of British Columbia, (near) where the mighty Thompson and Fraser Rivers meet. Thompson Rivers University, the home of BC Open Learning, is the host.

When: May 13-16, 2014

Who: Keynote speakers include:

How: Registration does not yet appear to be open. For more details go to: http://www.tru.ca/distance/cnie.html The cost by taxi from Vancouver though is $750 (I know, I’ve done it), so I suggest you fly in or take Via Rail (highly recommended if you have the time and money)

Call for proposals: Click here for details, but the deadline fo abstracts is February 14, so get cracking

View from Kamloops airport, winter

View from Kamloops airport, winter

University of Wisconsin’s annual conference on distance teaching and learning

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Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin


This is one of the oldest and largest conferences in North America on distance education, and covers the full range of target audiences from k-12 through universities and colleges to corporate training and adult education/lifelong learning. The conference provides an exchange of current resources, research, and best practices from around the world that are relevant to the design and delivery of distance education/training. This is the 30th annual conference they have organized.


The face-to-face conference will be hosted in Madison, Wisconsin, but the conference also offers a virtual option to attendees at a distance with selected presentations. The conference is organized and sponsored by Distance Education Professional Development (DEPD) in the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Instructional Communications Systems.

I couldn’t find any information on the site about accommodation. Presumably this will come.


August 12-14, 2014


The call for proposals for papers/presentations officially closes tomorrow (January 22), although many conferences extend their deadlines, depending on the number of proposals submitted.

Papers must be submitted by May 12.

Registration for the conference must be by June 12. However, I couldn’t find out how to register so I assume it’s not open yet.


Given the size of the conference, I understand the need for early submission of paper proposals, and that in itself is not a large commitment. However, it is difficult to commit in advance to doing a paper if you don’t know what the fees are if accepted, and what accommodation is likely to cost when you get there. Practical information, such as accommodation and fees, should be in place before the call for proposals goes out. This is not the only conference guilty of this oversight, but the days when faculty could just get on a plane whenever they felt like it and have their expenses paid have long gone – if they ever existed.

Nevertheless, if you are in distance education (and by definition, if you are teaching fully online courses, you are) then this is usually a very good conference to go to, if you can find the money.