Difference between revisions of "Athabasca University"
Revision as of 14:11, 3 August 2011
Athabasca University - Canada's Open University - is the largest distance education deliverer in Canada with over 30,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students. Athabasca is a public, research and teaching institution with a mandate to remove barriers to participation in formal education.
Athabasca has recently made an institutional commitment to producing and using Open Educational Resources. In 2011 it was awarded a UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in OER (http://www2.athabascau.ca/aboutau/news/news_item.php?new&id=62), one of only two such Chairs.
Athabasca's primary research focus is on the study of teaching, learning and knowledge acquisition. This is centred in TEKRI, the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute. The staff in POERUP are members of TEKRI. TEKRI research is closely aligned with the goals of Athabasca University. Researchers are Athabasca faculty with established international reputations in the development and application of technology - in particular, emerging technologies that hold promise for organizational knowledge, research and the transfer of social and cultural information, including:
- Open Educational Resources (OER): under the UNESCO/COL Chair programme, TEKRI researchers are strengthening networking, building capacity and promoting research related to OER. Work is focused at the institutional, national and international levels. To contribute to international networking, a mapping of the OER landscape is being undertaken in a collaborative manner with partner organization and institutions. This will feed into POERUP which in turn will stimulate and enrich the Athabasca work.
- Mobile Technologies.
- Personalization and Adaptive Systems.
- Social Networking, the use of internet communities to support individuals in learning and decision making activities. Social Networking reduces the isolation of the distance learner, and provides opportunity for constructive and cooperative learning activities. The resulting extended community of contacts often strengthens professional practice and improves the quality of everyday life.
- Learning Analytics is the use of intelligent data, learner-produced data, and analysis models to discover information and social connections, and to predict and advise on learning.
TEKRI researchers also collaborate with communities to test and transfer these technologies for real-world settings. They actively collaborate with other researchers globally, participate in a European Research Project (IntellLeo, http://www.intelleo.eu), a University of the Arctic Thematic Network, and they have been sought after as keynote speakers in USA, UK, Iceland, Russia, Jordan, Nigeria and Brazil.
Finally, Athabasca has Canada's first Open Access Scholarly Press, AU Press, which hosts 5 peer-reviewed, open access journals, including the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (http://www.irrodl.org). IRRODL is the most widely cited and read distance education journal.