ACSDE Open Online Symposium – Upcoming Events

Welcome! We hope to see you at our Open Online “Never Ending Symposium” events.  Click on the associated links for more information on the sessions.

We have created an online forum for additional discussion on topics that are covered in our symposium sessions. Click here to access the open forum. 

Please sign up on our mailing list for our upcoming open online events! 

April 17, 2020 at 3pm EST:   “Thinking on the Edge of the Box” – Michael Beaudoin, Ed. D., Emeritus Professor of Education, University of New England  – Click here for more on Dr. Beaudoin and meeting Zoom info. 

Current as well as aspiring distance education leaders, attempting to introduce innovative  programs and practices into conventional academic settings are often so eager to demonstrate they are ‘thinking outside the box’ that the new ideas they advocate appear too different and too radical compared to current practices, and thus frequently end-up alienating rather than attracting followers, thus generating resistance difficult overcome, and preserving the status quo.

The “Thinking on the Edge of the Box’ strategy utilizes an approach that cultivates interest and engagement by demonstrating how proposed new practices can augment rather than supplant existing ones (transactional distance), and in this manner, brings prospective followers closer to new ways on the edge of the box (transitional distance. Once conditions for change have been established, implementation of innovative programs and practice can occur (transformative distance).

This practice recognizes the value of concepts such as ‘early adopters’ and shows how innovative ideas can more gradually be insinuated into familiar environments so that skeptics eventually realize they have moved from the center to the edge and finally beyond the familiar. While the ultimate goal may require a bit more time to be fully realized, by convincingly articulating the benefits of where they propose to go, leaders are more likely to achieve greater success, and become more effective distance education leaders of the next era within their organizations.


Online Open Presentation – May 5, 2020 – 3 pm Eastern time – The next five years: future directions for online learning – Tony Bates

Please join us May 5, 2020 at 3pm online.  Zoom Info follows. Tony Bates will lead a discussion on:

The next five years: future directions for online learning

The recent corona virus has shown that for most institutions, online learning and distance education are no longer an option but a necessity, especially as a back-up in emergencies. However, even before this, there was strong evidence that online learning is becoming mainstream in North American higher education. This webinar will explore how the role of online and digital learning is expanding beyond increasing access to supporting the development of the key knowledge and skills students need in a digital age.

Tony Bates is President and CEO of Tony Bates Associates Ltd, a private company specializing in consultancy and training in the planning and management of e-learning and distance education. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor in the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University, Toronto and a Research Associate at Contact North, Ontario.

Tony Bates Associates Ltd was started in 2003, and since then has served over 50 institutional clients.

Past contracts include work for UNESCO, the World Bank, U.S. state higher education commissions and universities, the U.K. Open University, the Council of Ontario Universities, and for many Canadian colleges and universities, advising on their online learning strategies. He has worked as a consultant in over 40 countries. He has been a Research Associate with Contact North since 2007.Tony Bates

He has been Chair of the International Experts Panel for the Open University of Portugal, advisor to the Universidad de Guadalajara’s Maestría en Tecnologías para el Aprendizaje (Mexico) and to Universidad Tecnologica Metropolitana’s Magíster en Educación a Distancia (Chile). He was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Technology and Education between 2008-2009.

He was part-time Chair of Research in e-Learning at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain between 2003-2006, and was on the Academic Advisory Board of the Volkswagen AutoUni, based in Germany, 2003 -2007. From May 2004 to September 2005, he was part-time Cisco Systems Chair of e-Learning at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, where he led a strategic planning process for e-learning throughout the Institute.

He was Director of Distance Education and Technology in the Continuing Studies Division of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada from 1995 to 2003 and also Research Team Leader of MAPLE, the Centre for Research into Managing and Planning Learning Environments in Education at UBC. While at UBC, he was instrumental in setting up, initially in partnership with Tec de Monterrey in Mexico and UBC’s Faculty of Education, UBC’s fully online Master in Educational Technology, which has been running successfully since 2002.

The next five years: future directions for online learning – Tony Bates
Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here. 


May 20, 2020 at 4pm Eastern Time US – Building Capacity to Solve the Global Skills Group: The World Bank’s Open Learning CampusDr. Sheila  Jagannathan, Head of Open Learning Campus, World Bank. Click here for more info on Dr. Jagannathan and Zoom meeting info. 

Sheila Jagannathan is the Head of the Open Learning Campus at the World Bank in Washington DC. She serves as the organization’s focal point on digital learning and issues at the intersection of technology use and education in emerging countries.  She is a forward-thinking senior education leader with over 35 years of experience in leading capacity building, knowledge management, data, social learning and transformation change across public and private organizations. She has been responsible for designing and implementing world-class solutions in challenging global environments, resulting in performance and productivity improvements.   Sheila also provides policy advice and technical assistance to World Bank country-level capacity building programs (both government and training institutes seeking to introduce technologies in their educational systems) in, East Asia, China, the Middle East and North Africa, Africa and South Asia.   Her current areas of interest and activity include: corporate talent management, diversity & inclusion, organizational development, enterprise learning functions,  MOOCs, experiential pedagogy, online/hybrid strategies, development of rich multimodal and social learning environments, virtual and mixed reality, immersive learning, use of artificial education in education, big data and learning analytics, LMS and learning ecosystems. She is on the advisory board and planning committees of major professional associations of learning such as the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, Global Distance Learning Network, E-learning Africa, (Annual International Conference for developing E-learning capacities in Africa), International Conference on e-learning (ICEL), Skills Development Councils.


Date TBD – The uptake of Youtube based Digital Clinical Education (DCE): The road ahead with online digital mediaDrs. Karan Rangarajan, Khalil Begg, & Bhaskar Somani (Frimley Park Hospital, Imperial College, Sunderland University). Author and Zoom info to be updated.


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