UNIVERSITIES AND KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY JOURNAL (RUSC)
CALL FOR PAPERS OPEN FOR VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 (JULY 2014)
The Universities and Knowledge Society Journal (RUSC) is an open-access e-journal jointly published by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC, Spain) and the University of New England (UNE, Australia) that comes out twice a year, in January and July.
Call for papers open for the next Special Section on OER Initiatives in Oceania
In the 21st century, higher education has grown in volume, diversity and form. Recent decades, especially, have witnessed a number of fundamental structural shifts, both internally within the higher education academy and external to it, that have transformed the character of universities—student cohort, faculty, curriculum design and delivery, governance structures, funding mix, business models, operational modes and, indeed, their very function in relation to changing societal expectations in this age of higher accountability for award of public resources.
Globalization and labour market changes, the information age, the new imperatives of the knowledge society and a global financial crisis have all put new and urgent demands on higher education, heralding profound challenges: reduction in or acute lack of funding; changes in the student population age profile, mode of study and learning styles; an increasing demand for client-oriented service (i.e. learner-centred education delivered ‘anywhere, anytime, anyhow’); rising numbers of students due to internationalization and growing demand for access to lifelong learning and professional development; changing policy environments, and evolving quality assurance frameworks and mechanisms, to mention but a few. One could add to this list the accelerating pace of change.
Innovation and collaboration are key in this new educational landscape. Online education presents itself as perhaps the only way to meet the growing demand for higher education. The responsiveness of universities and the higher education system has varied considerably between institutions and from country to country. However, there are universal threads, and one common response to all these changes has been an increased interest in OERs, as evidenced by the way in which the press about MOOCs, OOCs, SMOOCs and the like has stirred up excitement and sometimes anxiety across the higher education sector. For these reasons, we have chosen to look at Initiatives in Open Educational Resources across Broader Oceania.
Broader Oceania is a region where few, if any, countries have been immune to this turmoil and where the weight of ever-increasing student demand coupled with declining resources is perhaps most heavily felt. In its broadest sense, Oceania includes the islands of the South Pacific scattered across Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia as well as Australasia and the countries of the Malay Peninsula (Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines). This region is sufficiently diverse to offer opportunities for comparison, but with similarities that allow for constructive exchange of ideas. It includes large and small nations, with differing operational contexts, advantages, opportunities, challenges and constraints. Distance education is a priority area of cooperation and collaboration among many of the countries in this region and, despite the lack of supportive infrastructure in the majority, increasingly technology and online learning are being considered as a solution to the burden of growing student numbers and changing, and often inadequate, funding models.
For similar reasons, there is also strong interest in OER across this region. Choosing OER as the overarching theme of this special issue allows educators to showcase how challenges and opportunities in the region are being met with innovation and/or collaboration. It also facilitates sharing of knowledge and exchange of varied perspectives and dialogue, not only between countries in the region, but hopefully also between Broader Oceania and Europe.
We are interested in receiving research articles on this topic by authors from all educational sectors and across the world. We are particularly interested in OER initiatives that address different perspectives of the changing 21st-century educational environment in broader Oceania.
The specific thematic areas of the monographic issue are the following:
• Policies, frameworks and strategies for OER
• OER technological affairs
• Open learning design
• Open resources development
• Open learning and teaching practices
• Sustainability and business models for OER
• Quality assurance for OER
• Open practices in general
Dr Rosalind James is the Director of DEHub: Innovation in Distance Education. Dr James has worked with DEHub since before its inception, having assisted to write the grant for funding, and at Australia’s University of New England (UNE) for many years, as a Research Fellow with DEHub and Project 2012: Flexible and Online. Prior to DEHub, Dr James was a course co ordinator and lecturer in the foundational pathway course at UNE’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) and an academic mentor for transitional students. Like many in the distance education field, Rosalind comes from a strong background established in other disciplines. She has been an archaeological consultant and a lecturer in Archaeology and Environmental Science, and has worked in diverse companies and government departments around the world as a senior manager and technical ICT consultant in the commercial information and communications technology arena. Her current research and publications interest is in implementation and integration of ICT in learning, in general, and Web 2.0 and social networking technologies, in particular; but also covers business use of technology and its implications for graduate attributes and professional development for academics teaching at a distance. Other projects under Dr James’s direction that have a direct focus on DEHub’s mission are the ICDE’s Regulatory Frameworks for Distance Education in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia region and a large collaborative project to develop EduONE, a community education portal offering open educational resources for lifelong learning.
Dr Carina Bossu is a Lecturer (Learning and Teaching) with the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching (TILT) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Her current work and research are primarily focused on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) in higher education, more specifically issues related to learning, teaching and professional development. Previously, she was a Research Fellow with DEHub at Australia’s University of New England where her role was to investigate the use and adoption of OER across the Australian higher education sector. In 2012, Carina and her team successfully completed a two-year research project funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching entitled “Adoption, use and management of OER to enhance teaching and learning in Australia”. Dr Bossu has presented and published widely and is currently supervising a small group of research students looking at OER and OEP in higher education. Recently, Carina was named the New Researcher “One to Watch” 2013 by Routledge Education and is now a member of the Routledge Education Arena Expert Panel.
Articles should be submitted by 31 December 2013.
Articles will be published in VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 (JULY 2014)
Author guidelines and submission procedure
Articles should be between 4,000 and 5,000 words and must contain the following:
- Abstract (200-300 words)
- Four to six keywords
- Article (divided into sections and subsections)
- Figures can be included within the article, but please also attach them in a separate file
In order to ensure a blind review, please place authors’ personal details in a separate file. The personal details required are:
- Name and surname
- Position or academic affiliation
- Full professional postal address and e-mail address
- Short CV (100-200 words)
The articles selected by the editors will be peer reviewed by at least two members of RUSC’s Editorial Board or by renowned experts in the field, as indicated by the editor.
You need to register as an author on the journal’s website in order to submit an article (http://www.uoc.edu/ojs/index.php/rusc/user/register). Once registered, enter the username and password you receive during the registration process to begin the submission procedure. In Step 1, select the Dossier section, and accept the submission and copyright terms and conditions. In Step 2, enter the metadata (title, abstract, keywords). In Step 3, attach the original article. You can skip Step 4 if there are no additional files, but you need to go on to Step 5 to complete the procedure.
We strongly recommend checking the journal’s author guidelines (http://www.uoc.edu/ojs/index.php/rusc/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions) before submitting an article. Please, remember to specify that it is for the SPECIAL SECTION.
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