Change, it appears, is the only constant, including in education where knowledge
is continually expanding and occasionally turned on its head to produce new knowledge that subverts what in the past was considered (unshakeable 'sacred') knowledge. If nothing can be expected to stay the same in perpetuity, what then can we say about the role of the university now and in future?
With this leading question in mind, TCX 31 ventured out to solicit views from a range of external tutors and internal academics. The results, which are set out in this issue, are certainly encouraging. The unanimous belief is that the future lies in open, distance and online learning, or ODOL, to coin a term
ODOL, with built-in learner-centred flexibility, is held up as a model that will become dominant in the near future, as information and communication technologies (ICT) develop in predictable and unpredictable ways that are likely to make us look back in 10 to 20 years from now, only to wonder how we ever managed with today's narrow broadband and other nascent technologies.
The future is bright for university education that breaks from the conventional full- time face-to-face mode of teaching-learning. Of course, there are no guarantees that ODOL will supercede the conventional mode of learning, or that it will not be overtaken instead by something else altogether which has yet to be conceived at present. Nevertheless, we can take heart that ODOL is already changing lives today by opening up opportunities for adult learners and workers to upgrade their knowledge and skills as a lifelong pursuit.
As usual, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TCX. With the September semester coming to a close, we also hope that you have had a productive semester. We look forward to seeing you again with a new issue in January 2011.