Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to CRIDALA 2000

It is our pleasure to invite fellow researchers in distance and adult learning in the Asia-Pacific region and from other regions of the world to participate in this conference organised by the Centre for Research in Distance & Adult Learning (CRIDAL) at the Open University of Hong Kong. In CRIDALA 2000, seven themes of adult and distance learning will be explored through a novel conferencing format which cascades theree integrated phases of the conference to enable mentoring and professional development during the conference.

Hong Kong, as the host country, is known not only for its highly developed adult and distance education programmes, but also its cultural diversity and stunning scenery. This is an ideal opportunity for you to experience some of this.

CRIDALA 2000 is designed specifically as a showcase of the current research in the region but it is more than that - it is an opportunity for researchers world-wide with common interests to meet together under expert guidance and to make important decisions about the future direction of research. We hope that you will include it in your plans for 2000.

For further information and registration, please have a look at this brochure and for more details visit our web site or contact us.

The Conference dates are 21-24 June 2000. There will be severn major sessions. The afternoon of Friday 23 June will be available for visits and other activities. Other highlights include a Conference Dinner Cruise on Hong Kong's famous harbour.

Important dates to remember

January 14, 2000
Closing date for submission of papers for review
March 1, 2000
Notification of accepted papers
March 15, 2000
Last day of early-bird registration
Last day for submission of revised papers
May 12, 2000
Last day of registration
May 15, 2000
Posting of electronic presentations by keynote experts, and symposia papers
June 21, 2000
Conference Opening
July 1, 2000
Post conference electronic discussion and networking

We look forward to seeing you at CRIDALA 2000.

Olugbemiro Jegede
Chair of the Organising Committee

Research as Professional Development

The need for a conference on research in the delivery and management of open and distance learning (ODL) and adult education has a new urgency for practitioners and researchers due to (i) the enormous upsurge in demand for learning at a distance and the concerted effort made by distance education providers to meet this need, (ii) the need for distance educators to fully understand and centrally situate research as well as determine their research priorities to achieve this, (iii) the complexity of the nature of open and distance education demand that practice and theoretical framework and philosophy should be constantly informed through enquiry, and (iv) the need to address the issue of research methodologies in an emerging field just finding its feet in educational practice and research. Given contemporary development in open and distance learning, embedding research as professional development appears to be critical and relevant.

The conference programme has been designed to support and encourage the in-depth treatment of seven major sub-themes in research in distance and adult learning, informed discussion, the exchange of ideas and opinions, and to encourage the establishment of new professional relationships. The emphasis will be on practitioner-led sessions which mix theory and practice to build a learning and professional community among those interested in distance and adult education research. Proceedings from the Conference will be shared with the international community through the post-conference publication.

Potential Sub-themes

(to be finalised after initial registration of interest by participants)

Cross-national, cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary and cross- institutional research

With the potential of new technology for developing a global education', national/world-wide educational programmes are becoming increasingly popular. Under this situation, open and distance education calls for cross- national, cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary and cross- institutional research for the understanding of how 'global knowledge' could he organised and adopted to national and regional needs.

Mentoring and research career development

With rapid growth in the speed and facility of communicating between individuals and groups around the world, technology has made it possible for us to re- think the role of mentoring as an important component of the career development of the young researcher. Papers are invited that will explore issues including the professional obligation and the role of senior researchers in assisting the career development of new researchers, the need for research interest groups (across institutional and even country boundaries) under the guidance of established experts in their respective fields, and ways in which editors and reviewers can support developing researchers to publish their findings

Utilising information and communication technologies in ODL research

In the past 10 years, computer and information technologies have been under explosive development. The World Wide Web (WWW), in particular, is increasing its popularity and providing an opportunity for ODL research. ODL researchers can now utilise WWW facilities such as electronic discussion boards, mailing lists and online assessments to assist their research. Participants in this thematic group are invited to explore ways in which these technologies can be fully exploited in open and distance learning in order to enhance the quality of distance and open learning.

Research as incentive and reward in professional development

Engagement in research is no longer a luxury for academics, but a necessity. University funding is increasingly dependent on the quantity of institutions' research output and employment and promotion criteria are placing higher importance on research productivity. This implies many issues for academics, not the least of which is balancing workloads to allow for quality research without sacrificing the quality of other duties. This subgroup will examine the obstacles faced by universities and individuals who need to engage actively in research, and some of the strategies and rewards that can help to address these obstacles.

Enhancing teaching and learning through research

While there has been a keen interest for education providers and educators to find ways of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, what mechanisms, programmes, and initiatives should be adopted to effectively provide quality education to meet the needs of the changing society? To what extent do the strategies implemented by distance educators today meet the characteristics and needs of the distance learners? This subgroup welcomes papers about the development of new methodologies or creative approaches which has led Co an improvement in teaching activities and student learning. Evaluations of existing mechanisms and strategies to support distance learning are also encouraged.

ODL research agenda for the 21st century

With the rapid development of society, economy, science and technology, considerable changes have affected the system of distance education in the last decade. There is massive growth in student enrolments and there is a trend in developing on-line assessments as well as course programmes to cater for the needs of a bigger market. Open universities also face pressure for greater efficiency and effectiveness at every level of operation. This theme will provide an opportunity for ODL practitioners, researchers and academic administrators in Asia and those from other regions of the world to chart some of the changes and opportunities that have occurred, to plan ahead for the new millennium and propose important areas for further research.

Research and policy nexus in ODL

Institutional research and research undertaken by individual staff in ODL institutions have implications for policy both at macro and micro levels within an institution and in any country. Many universities without a formal set up for research have difficulty making provisions for it both in funding and in other resources especially time. If, as has been postulated, research will be the central focus in the ODL initiatives of the future, then there is a dire need to discuss and to articulate how institutional and individual research efforts are situated in the policy of institutions. It is also pertinent to examine critically how the institutional policy on research and other matters relate to the total national policy on education and research.

Programme structure of the conference

This conference will provide a unique blend of pre- and post-conference electronic discussions, with face-to-face plenary addresses, symposia and round-table discussions. The uniqueness comes from the format in which expert researchers will present keynote addresses ("Need To") both electronically pre-conference and face-to-face at the conference. These experts will then act as facilitators and critical discussants at a series of symposia in which selected papers will be presented by emerging researchers ("What To"). Following the symposia, there will be face to-face and post-conference electronic roundtable discussions in which researchers (especially new and young researchers) engaged in a common thematic area will address related issues and topics from a coherent practitioner's and professional development perspectives ("How To"). The theme and sub-themes will be used as threads to integrate all sessions in a pragmatic manner.

Conference Activities

The Keynotes

The keynote talks present an overview of the conference themes and sub-themes. Conference participants are invited to access the electronic presentations related to the themes at the Conference web-site from May 15, 2000. The names and addresses of keynote speakers will appear in the conference website from January 15, 2000.

The Symposia

Papers will be selected for presentation in the symposia for each sub-theme. These symposia will be directly related to the seven keynote sub-themes and the keynote presenters will take the role of facilitators and discussants. Conference participants are strongly urged to read the papers, posted electronically on the Conference web-site from May 15, to facilitate discussion with presenters and other colleagues.

Thematic Roundtable Discussions and Electronic Roundtables

These Roundtable Discussions will play an important role in developing the seven sub-themes of the Conference. In each thematic group, the keynote presenter will take an active mentoring role in developing discussions about research issues and initiatives that need to be explored. It is anticipated that some inter-institutional collaborative work will be reported on and developed from these discussions. After the conference, provision will be made to continue these discussions through electronic roundtables.

Poster Sessions

The poster sessions will provide an avenue for those wishing to have the opportunity for a one-to-one or one- to-many presentation of their research report through the graphic displays of their materials. The Conference will provide a 4X4 ft boards and those wishing to display their posters must ensure that their displays fit the board provided. Poster presentation should include a brief summary or abstract in large typescript. Author(s) should stand or sit near their displays and hold individualised, informal discussions of their research during the 90-minute to be allotted the session time. Each presenter is expected to distribute copies of the full paper during the session.

Technical Facilities

PCs with standard presentation software and data projectors as well as VHS videos are available for all presentations. For personal use, especially for emailing and access to other internet facilities, a computer lab with Internet connections will be available.

Call for Papers

The Organising Committee invites anyone interested to submit papers for CRIDALA 2000. Potential contributors are advised to consider how their papers reflect the theme and sub-themes and to make necessary effort to address the theme in their presentations and discussions. Papers which describe or make major references to any of a variety of types of research including, but not limited to, descriptive survey, ex post facto, documentary analysis, case study, experimental, historical, evaluation, naturalistic, action, and philosophical research are welcome.

All papers should he based on completed research, on- going research nearing completion at the time the paper is being submitted or on a theoretical position supported by critical synthesis of the research literature in open and distance learning.

Deadline for Submission

Papers should be submitted for review by January 14, 2000. To avoid your papers being sent back, please adhere to this deadline as an absolute date for submission of your papers. Please note that reviewers' reports and decision on papers will be sent to applicants by March 1, 2000 and the final paper will be expected from successful authors two weeks later.

Guidelines for Submitting Papers

Length of Paper

The paper should not exceed 10 A4 pages, single-spaced using a 12 point Times New Roman font. It should have: an abstract of no more than 200 words, objectives of the study, significance, theoretical underpinnings, design and procedure, findings and implications for practice.

Title of Paper

Use a coherent, concise and cogent title which reflects the content of the paper and relates very closely to the theme and a sub-theme of the conference.

Word processing format

Microsoft Word 97 is the preferred word processing format.

Note that HT1LIL format is also acceptable. Any graphics included in the HTML paper should be sent as jpg or gif files.

Referencing Style

APA style should be adhered to.

Copies to be submitted

Submit three copies of paper as follows:

A. On the first copy:

Immediately after the title of paper, include:

Biodata of Authors:

A short biography of the author(s) - up to five lines per author - should he given at the end of the paper.

B. On the other two copies which will be sent for review:

Immediately after the title of paper, include:

(Please omit names and other identifying information of authors.)

How and where to Submit Paper

Three copies of your paper, each attached with a Cover Sheet as provided in this brochure, are to be sent by post to the Conference Secretariat. A disk copy of your paper is also required. You may submit the computer file in PC format on a 3 1/2 inch (8.8 cm) floppy disk together with the hard copy, or send the file separately as e-mail attachment.

All correspondence should be addressed to:

Centre for Research in Distance & Adult Learning
The Open University of Hong Kong
30 Good Shepherd Street
Homantin, Kowloon
Tel: (852)2768 6701 Fax: (852)2715 9042
Web site:

All papers must be received by January 14, 2000

Conference Language

The overall working language of the Conference will be English.

Conference Venue

The Conference will be held in the OUHK purpose built campus at Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Its facilities are highly suitable for an event of this nature, and accommodation has been booked with a number of nearby hotels.

Social Programme

A. Dinner cruise on the Harbour

B. Tours of Hong Kong:


Accommodation packages with generous discounts have been negotiated with the following hotels/guesthouses in Kowloon.

Approx. Rates Grade of Hotel
Royal Plaza Hotel HK$680* 5 Star
The Metropole Hotel HK$400* 4 Star
Stanford Hotel HK$420* 3 Star
YMCA International House:
New Block
Standard Block

YWCA Anne Black
Guest House
HK$253 Budget

All rooms come with double/twin beds and there is no extra charge for double occupancy. The Metropole, Stanford, YMCA and WVCA are within 10 minutes' walk of the OUHK campus. Rates are INCLUSIVE of 10% service charge and 3% government tax.

* One way transport from hotel to the OUHK campus is provided each morning.
  Except for Royal Plaza Hotel, these rates do not include breakfast.


June is usually hot and humid in Hong Kong. Daytime temperatures vary between 26-30 degrees Celsius and the average humidity is about 82 per cent. Visitors are advised to bring a light jacket as some air-conditioned buildings and transport can be quite cool.

Registration Fee

The Conference registration fee includes entry to all sessions, access to the electronic forums, Conference Proceedings, morning and afternoon teas, lunches, and Conference Dinner Cruise.

Standard US$300
Early Bird (before March 15, 2000) US$270
(current student registration card required

* Last Day of Registration: May 12, 2000

Only fully-paid up registered participants will have access to the electronic conference and the viewing of all keynote addresses through the password-protected conference website.

Participants are responsible for all other expenses incurred in attending the conference.

Refund and Cancellation

Notification of cancellation should be sent in writing to the Conference Secretary no later than May 15, 2000. A 25% cancellation charge will be deducted from the total amount paid. Refunds will be made after the Conference. No refund can be made for cancellation received after May 15, 2000.

Online Registration