Editor's Note

Attentive readers would have noticed that, starting with Issue 18 which came out a year ago, inspired has pivoted to become more regional and global in its engagement with online, distance, and digital higher education (ODDHE). The editorial shift is indeed deliberate and was borne out of OUM’s belief that a platform such as inspired has the potential to bring ODDHE stakeholders together to not only engage with contemporary ODDHE matters but also to engage them critically. As Emeritus Professor Junhong Xiao argues in this issue’s guest feature, there is indeed an urgent need for ODDHE practitioners, particularly those in Asia, to resist wholesale adoption of ideas, tools, and practices generated elsewhere and to always take a context-sensitive – in short, critical – approach. Prof Xiao’s advice is particularly relevant now, at a time when we are confronted with what OUM’s Vice-Chancellor/President, Prof Ahmad Izanee Awang, invokes as VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Prof Izanee’s address from the VC’s office, which sets the tone for this issue, is a timely reminder that orthodoxy requires bracketing if we are to ride the VUCA wave instead of being swallowed by it. Riding the wave also requires us to know the micro- from the macro- and meso-issues of research and praxis, this being one of the key issues discussed in this issue’s ‘In Conversation’ piece which features two leading scholars of our field, Prof Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Prof Insung Jung.

We hope you will find this issue as critically engaging as it has striven to be.


Dr David Lim, Editor