CLC numberG728 Document codeCArticle ID1007-2179200806-0098-06


Current Status and Future Visions for

Distance Education in Asia:

——Report of the 22nd AAOU Abbual Conference




Beijing Normal University, Beijing10087, China


Abstract:This Report of the 22nd Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) Annual Conference takes a more in-depth look at the proceedings to offer insight to those who attended and to offer more information than is usual in a Conference Report to those who did not. This year , the AAOU Conference was held in Tianjin, China, hosted by Tianjin RTVU 14-16 October. The structure of the conference was new -there were seven Keynote Speeches, and all regular Participants presented individual Papers in parallel sessions on only one morning on the last day. Fortunately the Keynote Speeches were indeed worthwhile attending. In summary, these Keynote Speeches suggested and advocated some major changes in how we are building and running open and distance education in Asia and in the world generally. Five points can be drawn from them: 1) Examinations should be out-sourced to some supra-institutional examination and accrediting agency for quality assurance; 2) Open educational resources should be made free and more easily accessible to all globally; 3) Access must be more flexible to cope with changing demographics and the expected increasing proportion of older-aged physically-impaired students; 4) Courses should be designed not to give second-hand information but to generate primary sources of learning experiences for the students, and 5) The AAOU should do more to promote crosscultural exchanges of students, teachers, and our courses. The first and second points go together to provide widest possible access to highest possible quality at affordable cost to each student. The third point reminds us to adopt ISO standards, while the fourth and fifth points relate to the heart of the AAOU and Asia : the only characteristic common to all countries and regions in Asia is diversity, and in this diversity lies the richness and value not only of conferencing but of our teachers and students.


Submit Date:2008-11-01

The Author:Paul Kawachi is Professor of Educational Technology, teaching in the School of Foreign Languages and researching at the Institute of Distance Education at Beijing Normal University, after teaching at universities in Japan for more than twenty-five years. He holds a doctorate in education, three masters degrees and several teaching diplomas with distinction. He has English internationally accredited licences for multimedia teaching, and English language teaching, and for teaching other teachers at all levels either face-to-face or online. Earlier he has graduated from the UK Open University, Institute of Educational Technology, with a Masters in Open and Distance Education, and won the Gold Medal for his research from the Asian Association of Open Universities. He is Editor of the Asian Journal of Distance Education, and on the Editorial Board of many others. He is a Founding Member of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and elected Board Director of International Professors for volunteer teaching in developing countries. His research interests are in third-generation instructional design and how this facilitates lifelong learning, teacher professional development, cognitive learning theories especially lifelong learning and adult learning theories, educational psychology, and learning technologies especially when applied across cultures. He does international consultancy on curriculum design, applying learning technologies and e-learning. He is widely published in books and leading international journals. He is a Board Member of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), and a Member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). His e-mail is









【摘要】2008101416日,第22届亚洲开放大学协会(AAOU)年会在天津召开,本次年会由天津广播电视大学主办。本届年会共有七个主题演讲,这些主题演讲建议和主张我们在建构和运行亚洲乃至世界范围内的开放与远程教育过程中所面临的重大变革。从中可得出五点结论:1)为了质量保证,考试应外包给一些跨机构的考试和认证机构; 2)开放教育资源应该是免费的,而且更容易为全球所获取; 3)获取远程教育的途径必须更加灵活,以应付不断变化的人口统计数据和预期增长的年长的、身体受损的学生数量; 4)在课程设计中不应只提供给学生二手信息,而要成为学生学习经验的主要来源;5AAOU应该做更多的工作,以促进学生、教师和课程的跨文化交流。