AAOU



The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), which was founded in 1987, is a non-profit association of autonomous legally established institutions of higher learning primarily concerned with education at a distance. It strives to widen the educational opportunities available to all people in Asia and to improve the quality of the institutions in terms of their educational management, teaching and research. It promotes education by distance teaching systems, as well as professional and ethical standards; develops potentialities of open and distance education; cooperates with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in education at a distance; and facilitates cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies.

The AAOU Annual Conference, hosted in turn by member institutions, is a stimulating forum for all those associated with open and distance learning in Asia, particularly academics, administrators and students. It provides a focal point for bringing everyone up to date on the issues, ideas and developments in the field of open distance learning

OUSL






Vision

"To be the premier Open and Distance Learning institution in Asia through excellence, efficiency and equity in lifelong learning"


Mission

"To enhance access to high quality, affordable and relevant education through Open distance education and ensure lifelong learning opportunities to face challenges in a knowledge society"

The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) is the premier Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution in Sri Lanka where students can pursue their studies through ODL methodologies.

Established in 1980, under the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 and the OUSL Ordinance No. 1 of 1990, as amended. The OUSL is one of the 15 national universities coming under the purview of the University Grants Commission and enjoys the same legal and academic status. However, it differs from the other national universities because of its dependence on ODL philosophy to expand opportunities for higher education regardless of age, previous qualifications, geography, employment barriers and income. In the year 2020, the OUSL will celebrate 40 years of excellence in offering higher educational learning opportunities through ODL methodologies.

Due to the nature of its teaching methodology and infrastructure, the OUSL is able to serve a large student population spread throughout the country. Currently, there are more than 40,000 students studying at the OUSL, who are being served by nine (09) Regional Centres and eighteen (18) Study Centres located around the country.

The academic and the administrative head of the university is the Vice-Chancellor. The University has five Faculties: Natural Sciences, Engineering Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Education and Health Sciences.

Over the years, the OUSL has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with a number of international and national institutions to promote ODL opportunities in Sri Lanka and overseas. The OUSL had reached out to international bodies responsible for Distance Education such as the Commonwealth of Learning, the distance education arm of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the body that works with all Distance Education providers in the Commonwealth.

In 1991, OUSL proudly hosted the annual conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) – as one of the founder members of the AAOU.

Theme and Sub-themes

Theme

  • Opening minds for a sustainable future: Re-orienting ODL to surmount challenges

Sub-themes

  • Promoting sustainable development through lifelong learning

    Increasing access and flexibility, improving quality, enhancing equity, reorienting curricula, facilitating economic growth, social development and environmental protection

  • Innovations in ODL through smart technologies

    e-learning, m- learning, u-learning, digital library, remote access to e-resources, learner- teacher interaction, integration of social media and online evaluation

  • Open knowledge movement - Implications for ODL

    Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Educational Practices (OEP), MOOCs, Open Data, Social Media and Learning Communities

  • Learner engagement and motivation in ODL- Challenges and possibilities

    Enhanced retention, increased completion rates, facilitating collaborative learning, redefining role of face-to-face components, harnessing influence of significant others, reorienting learner support

  • Best practices in ODL for Education for Sustainable Development

    Quality assurance, learner support services, ICT integration, policies and procedures, capacity and capability development, innovative learning design and creative teaching practices

  • Learning analytics in ODL: Potential and challenges

    As a tool for quality assurance, quality improvement, improving learner support and increasing retention rates, innovative technologies and ethical issues in the use of learning analytics

Organizing Committee

Conference Co-Chairs

Prof. Anbahan Ariadurai, Vice-Chancellor
Prof. Joseph Rajendra, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Committee Members

Prof. Gaya Ranawaka, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
Prof. Shironica Karunanayaka, Dean, Faculty of Education
Prof. Camena Guneratne, Head, Department of Legal Studies
Prof. Gunadya Bandarage, Professor in Chemistry
Dr. Gayathri Jayatilleke, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Educational Technology and Media
Dr. Prasad Senadeera, Director, International Relations Unit
Ms. Vindya Jayasena, Registrar
Dr. Anura Wickramasinghe, Bursar


Organizing Subcommittees

Sponsorship and Planning Committee

Chairperson - Prof. Joseph Rajendra, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Members -
Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Prof. Gaya Ranawaka, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
Prof. Gunadya Bandarage, Professor in Chemistry
Prof. Ajith Dolage, Dean, Faculty of Engineering Technology
Prof. Vasthiyampillai Sivalogathasan, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies
Dr. Sreemali Herath, Senior Lecturer, Postgraduate Institute of English

Scientific Committee

Chairperson - Prof. Shironica Karunanayaka, Dean, Faculty of Education
Members -
Prof. Kolita Weerasekera, Senior Professor of Civil Engineering
Prof. Gunadya Bandarage, Professor in Chemistry
Prof. Camena Guneratne, Head, Department of Legal Studies
Dr. Gayathri Jayatillake, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Educational Technology and Media
Prof. Rohan Fernando, Professor in Geology
Prof. Harshana Rambukwella, Director, Postgraduate Institute of English
Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Head, Department of Social Studies
Dr. Iresha Attanayake, Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Sashikala Kugamoorthy, Senior Lecturer, Department of Secondary and Tertiary Education

Logistics Committee

Chairperson - Prof. Anbahan Ariadurai, Vice-Chancellor
Members -
Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Prof. Joseph Rajendra, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Ms. Vindya Jayasena, Registrar
Dr. Anura Wickramasinghe, Bursar

Publicity Committee

Chairperson - Dr. Gayathri Jayatillake, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Educational Technology and Media
Members -
Prof. Camena Guneratne, Head, Department of Legal Studies
Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Indika Bulankulame, Director, Public Information Office
Mr. Sameera Thilakawardena, Lecturer, Centre for Educational Technology and Media
Mr Andy Schubert, Senior Lecturer, Department of Language Studies
Mr. Lal Medawattegedara, Senior Lecturer, Department of Language Studies

International Outreach Committee

Chairperson - Dr. Prasad Senadeera Director, International Relations Unit
Members -
Prof. Joseph C. N. Rajendra, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Dr. T. Laksiri Pradeep, Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering
Mr. Lal Medawattegedara, Senior Lecturer, Department of Language Studies