Hot off the press: Handbook of Open, Distance and Digital Education (open access)

This might be the most important book in the field of open, distance, and digital education to be published this decade.Handbook cover Congratulations to Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Insung Jung, the editors, as well as to all the section editors, for assembling a truly remarkable compendium of pretty much everything anyone would need to know on the subject. It includes chapters written by a very high proportion of the most well-known and influential researchers and practitioners on the planet as well as a few lesser known folk along for the ride like me (I have a couple of chapters, both cowritten with Terry Anderson, who is one of those top researchers). Athabasca University makes a pretty good showing in the list of authors and in works referenced. In keeping with the subject matter, it is published by Springer as an open access volume, but even the hardcover version is remarkably good value (US$60) for something of this size.

The book is divided into six broad sections (plus an introduction), each of which is a decent book in itself, covering the following topics:

  • History, Theory and Research,
  • Global Perspectives and Internationalization,
  • Organization, Leadership and Change,
  • Infrastructure, Quality Assurance and Support Systems,
  • Learners, Teachers, Media and Technology, and
  • Design, Delivery, and Assessment

There’s no way I’m likely to read all of its 1400+ pages in the near future, but there is so much in it from so many remarkable people that it is going to be a point of reference for me for years to come. I’m really going to enjoy dipping into this.

If you’re interested, the chapters that Terry and I wrote are on Pedagogical Paradigms in Open and Distance Education and Informal Learning in Digital Contexts. A special shoutout to Junhong Xiao for all his help with these.

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