RIDCH Conferences 2016
Open and Innovative Education Week

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Open and Innovative Education Week

The Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education (IROPINE), which was established by the OUHK in 2016 with the support of a substantial grant from the Research Grants Council, held the first Open and Innovative Education Week on 5–8 July as its signature event.

The Open and Innovative Week brought together educators and researchers who are passionate about open and innovative education ideas, practices, and research. It provided the participants with an interdisciplinary platform to engage in dialogue with each other and embark on potential research collaboration. This year, the Week featured particularly the Third International Conference on Open and Flexible Education (ICOFE 2016) and the grand launch of IROPINE.

ICOFE 2016

ICOFE 2016 was held on 6–8 July during the Open and Innovative Education Week. There were 110 participants from 14 countries across Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America, including academics from the tertiary education sector; presidents, deans and administrators from open universities; and experts in information and educational technology.

With the theme ‘Innovative Pedagogy and Technology’, the Conference aimed to explore creative pedagogical practices to enhance open and flexible learning and novel application of technology in educational contexts.

The conference programme comprised two keynote sessions, two workshops and paper presentation sessions.

Keynote speeches

The first keynote speech, entitled ‘Open and Flexible Pedagogies: The Changing Role of Teachers in the 21st Century’, was given by Professor Wing On Lee, OUHK’s Vice-President (Administration & Development). He discussed the new attributes required for 21st century knowledge economies, maintaining that teachers need to reflect on whether they should continue their traditional role as ‘sage-on-the-stage’, or gradually shift to the role of being a ‘guide-on-the-side’ and ‘meddler-in-the-middle’.

Dr Alan Bruce, CEO and Director of Universal Learning Systems, an international consultancy firm specializing in research, training and project management, delivered another keynote speech on ‘Open Horizons and Global Citizenship: The Disruptive Innovation of Collaborative Pedagogy’. Dr Bruce raised the need for learners and educators to re-conceptualize the environments in which they work and learn. Globalization presents a challenge to education and learning — learning resources were criticized for their cultural and linguistic bias, while real possibilities are opened up for transformative learning. Dr Bruce called for global collaborations to develop new pedagogies.


Dr Eva Tsang, Director of the OUHK’s Educational Technology and Publishing Unit, ran a workshop on the topic ‘Emerging Technologies for Mobile, Online and Blended Learning’. Dr Tsang introduced participants to a variety of novel educational technology tools, such as infographics, social bookmarking, e-portfolio and cloud-based resources. She demonstrated how to make appropriate use of these tools in various modes of learning that fit different pedagogies.

Dr Alan Bruce also chaired a workshop, entitled ‘Shaping Innovative and Inclusive Learning Communities: Lessons from the European Experience’, which examined key issues and outcomes from a variety of EU projects in which innovation was prioritized. Projects on issues such as web-supported vocational guidance tools and digital repositories for social inclusion in art-making were discussed to illustrate how innovation in education was achieved.

Awards for Excellent Papers and Presentations

A number of awards were presented to the authors of papers and presentations.

The Best Paper Award for ICOFE 2016 was won by Ms Beryl Wong and Dr Billy Wong for their paper on ‘Supporting the Wellness of Students in Open and Distance Learning’.

The Best Practices Award was won by Dr Simon Lam, Dr Simon Yau, Dr C Tam, Dr K M Ho, Andy Chong, Nelson Chung Yiu Lee and Dr Eva Tsang. Their presentation was on ‘The Practice of Interactive Learning Systems in Mass Lectures: Monitoring Knowledge Acquisition and Enhancing Engagement of Students’ Learning’.

Launch Ceremony of IROPINE

The launch ceremony for IROPINE was held on 7 July 2016 during the Open and Innovative Education Week.

The Secretary for Education, the Honourable Eddie NG Hak-kim, officiated at the launch ceremony of the Institute. Other distinguished guests included:

Dr Melinda dP. Bandalaria, Chancellor of the Philippines Open University;
Mr Du Jun-jun, President of Yunnan Open University;
Prof. Wong Yuk-Shan, President of the OUHK;
Dr Gerald C S Siu, an OUHK Court member;
Prof. Danny Wong Shek-nam, the OUHK’s Vice President (Academic) and Director of IROPINE; and
Dr Li Kam-cheong, OUHK’s Director of the URC and Deputy Director of IROPINE.

In his opening remarks, Professor Wong Yuk-Shan said that the OUHK has been involved in research on open and distance education since 1997, and the establishment of IROPINE will help the University to develop new pedagogies, apply technology in educational contexts, and provide training and support for academic staff. He also noted that the professional team of IROPINE will collaborate with internationally recognized educators and experts to advance open and innovative education in both local and global contexts.

For details of other events in the Open and Innovative Education Week, please read the article on recent events in IROPINE in the recent and upcoming events section.



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