The Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF8) is scheduled to be held in Malaysia from 27-30 November 2016 on the theme of “Open, Online and Flexible Learning: The Key to Sustainable Development”. We welcome you to join us in the grand event in the Kuala Lumpur International Convention Centre with our host Open University Malaysia. In order to kick-start the momentum to the main event, we are organising four online discussions around the sub-themes. These discussion forums will be available for a period of 4 weeks each, available globally for anyone interested in the theme to join and actively participate. The summary of the discussions in the online pre-conferences would feed into the deliberations of the main conference, and help us to identify and develop recommendations for our common action.

The Online Forum schedule are:

Online Forum 1:
Effectiveness and efficiency (starts April 1, 2016; ends April 30, 2016)

This online forum will focus on discussing research into efficiency and effectiveness in open and distance learning (ODL).  Some of the issues that the online discussion will explore include: research already carried out on efficiency and effectiveness in ODL; major research gaps; data required and how this data is being gathered; and how to improve research output in efficiency and effectiveness in ODL. The objectives are to help participants: a) reflect and share experiences on research on efficiency and effectiveness in ODL; b) identify existing research gaps; and c) identify strategies for the improvement of research on efficiency and effectiveness in ODL.

Online Forum 2:
Access and inclusion
(starts May 15, 2016; ends June 15, 2016)

The online forum will focus on improving access to educational opportunities and promoting inclusion, at all levels; ways of improving access for example eLearning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Open Educational Resources (OER), public-private partnership, etc.; examples of using open, distance and blended learning for development; new models of increasing access and providing equitable educational opportunities; analysis of the effect of equity/inequity on development; examples of policies for improving equity.

Online Forum 3:
Quality and equity in learning (starts July 1, 2016; ends July 30, 2016)

This online forum will focus on discussing strategies for improving quality of and equity in education at all levels and sectors with special attention to ODL/ODeL programme development, delivery and services, OER and MOOCs. The discussions will be guided by the following critical questions: How do key ODL stakeholders define and unpack quality and equity in teaching and learning? What are the criteria for quality and equity in ODL institutions? How do we promote equitable access and ensure quality learning opportunities for all at all levels of education? How does quality and equity in learning contribute to, and impact on sustainable livelihoods?  Reflections and insights into quality assurance frameworks and qualifications which enable ODL institutions achieve quality learning for sustainable livelihoods are invited.

Online Forum 4:
Technology and innovation
(starts August 15, 2016; ends Sep 15, 2016)

This online forum will focus on use of appropriate technology and innovations in teaching and learning, including new developments such as flipped classrooms, learning analytics, mobile learning, massive open and online course (MOOC) etc.; research and development of new applications for improving open, online and flexible leaning environments; examples of successes and pitfalls in use of technologies for learning -- what works, where, why and how; student and faculty use of media and technology, including open educational resources (OER).


How to Join

To express you interest click here. Upon receiving your interest, we will send you an invite for the Online Forums.



For more information about the PCF8 Online Forums, please contact:

Sanjaya Mishra
Co-Chair, PCF8 Programme Committee
Commonwealth of Learning

Email: pcf8programme