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Higher Education Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base Project Asia and the Pacific Region

Homepage of the Asia Pacific Knowledge Base on Open and Distance Learning

The Higher Education Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Knowledge Base project was launched by UNESCO in 2002, to support decision makers and practitioners with ready access to information and tools that will assist them in more effective policy planning, development and management of ODL in higher education programmes and in developing robust national quality assurance systems for ODL. 

In 2004, UNESCO Bangkok set up a systematic partnership with the Open University of Malaysia and Open University Malaysia which is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the ODL Knowledge Base website. 

Key information on ODL
The website contains detailed information on the following key aspects of ODL:

  • Open Learning and Distance Education
  • Interaction and Delivery
  • Development of Learning Material
  • Multi-Site Teaching
  • Learning Technologies
  • Learning and Tutorial Support
  • Programmes of Study
  • Quality Assurance
  • Assessment

ODL Forum - An interactive facility for mutual exchange of ideas

Searchable Database on ODL
The website has a searchable database on ODL resources, such as articles, book chapters, books, brochures, conference papers, conference proceedings, journals, newsletters, policy documents and training resources on distance education and open learning, contributed by various individuals. There are currently more than 130 resources in this database. The coverage of the resources extends to national policies and legislation, market research, programme evaluation, quality assurance and control, and so on.

It also contains some exclusive resources such as a survey on the current situation and innovative and good practices of ODL in Asia and the Pacific region, conducted by UNESCO Bangkok, and articles specially written for this website by members of the Advisory Board.  

Decision Support Tool (DST)
The website has developed a Decision Support Tool (DST) to assist to policy-makers in making the first-level assessments about the viability and quality of distance education. It is composed of variables, indicators, and key questions concerning quality assurance of distance higher education.  

The website has hyperlinks to the 11 Advisory Board members, the ODL educational institutions in Asia and the Pacific region, external search engine, other various organizations on ODL in the world, and ODL journals.  

It also has a forum for online discussions and website feedback for users’ comments and input.  

Policy makers can easily find and refer to the information on ODL, and get not only the theoretical framework but also the region-specific best practices helping them put the theory into practice.

The various resources on ODL and DST will help policy makers to have a better understanding on how ODL functions, assist them in making a decision on ODL more appropriately and efficiently, and in developing robust national quality assurance systems for ODL.

Download the brochure "Higher Education Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base" (pdf, 1mb)