Editor's Note

Issue 20 opens with the existential question posed in a reflective feature by Prof Dr Ahmad Izanee Awang, OUM’s Vice-Chancellor/President: in the face of the digital convergence of universities across types, what is the value proposition of open universities (OUs) if they can no longer claim privilege and exclusivity over the provision of online education? The question sets the tone for the issue which features two prominent global voices in online, distance, and digital education (ODDE). The first is Prof Paul Prinsloo who, in a conversation piece, discusses the critical shifts that are occurring in the ODDE landscape following the rise of artificial intelligence and attendant technologies including learning analytics and algorithmic decision-making, shifts that have yet to be properly registered by ODDE practitioners and stakeholders, let alone responded to robustly, circumspectively, ethically and far-sightedly. The second is Emeritus Prof Junhong Xiao who, in our guest feature column, squarely addresses the elephant in the ODDE room: What kind of leadership do we need for the Asian ODDE community? It is our hope at OUM that the features in this issue will kickstart new conversations about the place of OUs in the future landscape of higher education.


Dr David Lim, Editor