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.