Seminar 2

21 September 2022

5:00 pm–6:00 pm (HKT)

Seminar 3

10 October 2022

10:30 am–11:30 am (HKT)


Dr Kam-cheong LI
Dean, School of Open Learning
Director, Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education
Hong Kong Metropolitan University

Agile-Blended Learning – An Innovative Pedagogical Approach for Hong Kong


Conventional approaches to providing adult education have become inadequate in addressing the learning needs of adult learners, as a result of rapid developments in technology and swift changes in various industries. This seminar introduces, with analyses, a novel approach to pedagogy and the provision of adult education, namely, Agile-Blended (AB) Learning. This new approach is developed according to needs of adult learners in Hong Kong and modern metropolises. It integrates agile learning which has been developed in the field of software development and blended learning which organically combines different modes of learning. It lays emphasis on temporal and spatial flexibility in learning, speedy and ready adaptation of curricula according to industry developments and changes in learner needs, promotion of learner autonomy and collaborative learning, as well as suitable mediation by technology. It is expected that AB Learning will bring forth qualitative leaps in students’ learning effectiveness.

Professor Alan TAIT
Professor Emeritus of Distance Education and Development
The Open University, UK
Fellow, Centre for Distance Education, University of London

The COVID Pandemic as a Change Agent in Higher Education


This talk draws on longitudinal research into assessment in particular at the University of London and its international programmes in the period 2020-2022. It will report on the attitudes of major stakeholders including students, academic Programme Directors, and the University itself. It will also report on issues of academic misconduct, technological solutions such as plagiarism detection and proctoring, and assessment and learning design. The talk draws on experience at an open university and a campus-based research intensive university, and sets out more broadly how the COVID-19 pandemic despite its tragic consequences for many has accelerated some valuable changes in Teaching and Learning in a wide variety of Higher Education institutions. Finally the issue of new research priorities in teaching, learning and assessment will be opened up for discussion.


Alan is Emeritus Professor of Distance Education and Development at the Open University UK, and Fellow at the Centre for Distance Education, University of London. From 2013 – 2015 Alan was Director of International Development and Teacher Education at the Open University; was Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) 2007–2012; and from 2004–007 Dean of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. He was Editor of the European Journal of Distance and E Learning (EURODL) 2005–2013, was from 1989–1998 Editor of the journal Open Learning, was President of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) from 2007–2010, and Co-Director of the Cambridge International Conference on Open and Distance Learning 1988–2013. In 2012 Alan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Moscow State University for Economics, Statistics and Informatics; appointed Visiting Senior Online Consultant at the Open University of China in 2013; and an Honorary Doctorate by the State University of New York in 2021. Alan is founding Emeritus Editor of the Journal of Learning for Development (, produced from the Commonwealth of Learning; Visiting Professor, Amity University, India 2018–2019; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Open University of Hong Kong 2015–2018. Alan was Special Advisor to the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) 2018–2019, and has recently worked on the establishment of open universities in Botswana, Kazakhstan, and Myanmar. Alan is Chair of Trustees at Mind for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (

Professor Tony BATES
Senior Advisor
The Chang School of Continuing Education
Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

Why Innovation is Essential for Open and Digital Learning Institutions — and How to Innovate


Innovation is the lifeblood of open, distance and digital education (ODDE), but it has often proved difficult for ODDE institutions to continue to innovate in response to a changing world outside. Innovation though is not ‘magic’ or serendipitous. There are well-established methods by which innovation can be nurtured and managed in ODDE. Based on a literature review of innovation in ODDE, and a number of case studies, the presentation discusses common myths regarding innovation, several barriers to change in ODDE institutions, then offers five strategies to support innovation.


Tony Bates is currently a Senior Advisor at the Chang School of Continuing Education, Toronto Metropolitan University. He is also a Research Associate at Contact North|Contact Nord, and a Board member of the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA). He has almost 50 years’ experience in using technology for teaching, starting in 1969, at the British Open University, where he became a full professor in educational media research. In 1989, he emigrated to Canada, to take the position of Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency, Vancouver. In 1995 he moved to the University of British Columbia, to become Director of Distance Education and Technology.

He is the author of twelve books on learning technology, online learning and distance education, including his latest online, open textbook for faculty and instructors, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age’. The book, first published in April 2015, has been downloaded over 500,000 times and is translated into ten languages.

He was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Open University of Portugal in 1995, Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, from Laurentian University, Canada, in 2001, Doctor Honoris Causa from Athabasca University, in June 2004, Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa from the Open University of Hong Kong in December 2004, and Doctor Honoris Causa from the Open University of Catalonia, Spain, in June, 2005.

Organizer & Contact