Education Specialist: Technical and Vocational Skills Development
Dr Alison Mead Richardson joined COL in September 2009 as Education Specialist: Skills Development. British-born, Dr Mead Richardson started her work in adult education as a trainer in the Girl Guides, a youth organisation that she has been associated with for many years. Alison has a background in corporate communications, broadcasting and management consultancy. She moved into distance and flexible learning when she joined the University of Bath in the UK to manage a Higher Education Research Council-funded project in Flexibility in Learning.
In 1996, Alison moved to Namibia to work as Distance Education Technical Adviser at the Namibian College of Open Learning. Since then, she has lived and worked in Africa, managing distance education projects in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda. Alison is an experienced distance education manager, practitioner and consultant with more than 20 years of international practice in more than 30 distance education programmes. She has a broad experience of different educational sub-sectors and has worked with Ministries and institutions on distance and flexible learning programmes for open schooling, teacher education, tertiary education, adult education and technical and vocational education. Alison has worked for major international development agencies including DFID, European Union, NZAID, British Council, African Development Bank and the ILO. She specialises in programme design and capacity building, organisational management and change, and the development of national distance and flexible learning policy and strategy.
An advocate of lifelong learning, Alison takes every opportunity to upgrade her knowledge and skills. She holds a Masters degree in Distance Education from the University of London and has completed a range of online professional development courses to meet her interest in technology in distance education. Most recently she completed designing a new learning environment MOOC with Stanford University and her doctoral research with the University of South Africa.