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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Distance Education

For a Special Issue on
The idea of open education

Abstract deadline
28 February 2023

Manuscript deadline
30 April 2023

Cover image - Distance Education

Special Issue Editor(s)

Som Naidu, Technology, Education and Design Associates
[email protected]

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The idea of open education

Despite the considerable gains made in relation to advocacy, funding, and policy development around the idea of openness, especially in higher education, there are still few signs of celebration and no sense of a victory (Open University, 2022; Weller, 2014, p. 3). A possible reason for this may be the failure of advocates to see openness as part of a bigger agenda incorporating many other dimensions of learning and teaching as opposed to a narrow focus on free and open access to educational resources (Wiley, n.d.) as its key defining characteristic. The latter is a rather jaundiced view of openness that needs reconsideration (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Witthaus, 2012).

Open educational practice comprises a lot more than free and open access to educational resources, although that is most certainly an important part of it (Naidu, 2016). Open education is best seen as an omnibus term that has several dimensions including:

  • open access, which is about inclusive and equal access to educational opportunities without barriers such as entry qualifications and ability to pay;
  • open learning, which is about the opportunity to study at anytime, anywhere, and at any pace; and
  • open scholarship, which is about the release of educational resources under an open license scheme that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others.

Since its formation in 1973, the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) has championed this cause both nationally and internationally (Bewley, 2008). Its golden jubilee—coming up in 2023—gives us an opportunity to look both ways—backwards and forwards—at the idea of open education, including its various manifestations within the larger educational ecosystem, and how espoused theories and philosophies around open education are actually being applied in practice at various levels and in different areas across the world (Mishra, 2017).

The journal Distance Education (ODLAA’s most significant contributions in this regard) has an equally enviable and rich history of pioneering research and scholarship in this field (Inglis, 1999; Keegan, 1980; Mitchell, 2009; Naidu, 2004, 2019). It seems fitting then to mark this occasion by devoting one of the issues of the journal (to be published in late-2023) to revisiting and reconsidering the idea of open education.

Types of submissions sought
For this special themed issue, we are seeking all kinds of submissions from theoretical or conceptual pieces to research articles, systematic literature reviews, as well as critical reflections and commentaries.

Submission Instructions

What and how to submit now

For now (February 28, 2023), please submit:

  • 500-word abstract (without references)
  • type of contribution and proposed title
  • author names and their affiliation.

Please submit all proposals (questions and queries) to [email protected]

Schedule and timeline of activities

  • Submit proposals (500-word abstract only) - February 28, 2023
  • Deadline for full (invited) submissions - April 30, 2023
  • Double-blind reviews of all submissions - May, June, July 2023
  • Revised version of accepted submissions - August, September 2023
  • Copyediting, production, typesetting - October 2023
  • Publication online and in print - November 2023

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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