Distance education has been around for many decades as both informal learning and formal degree-giving education programs. But what happens and how do we understand distance education when distance ceases to be a concern? From a globalization perspective, the new reality includes massive scaling, online learning, open courses – asynchronous and a synchronous learning interactions, networked education institutions, if not to mention aspects of a global development. Some potential themes: Global mobility of student flows, networked collaboration on programs, and joint development of degrees and curricular standards. Studying global learning is an aspect of the technologies that enable it, the organizations and institutions that embed it, and the practices that unfold within the forms and modalities enabled.
At the University of Agder and our collaborating institutions, several large projects have brought together educators and students from as range of countries in a North-South dialog. A masters degree in Development Management combines educators and students from Norway, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sri Lanka. Other projects include educators and students from Rwanda, South Africa, Bolivia, the United States, the Nordic countries, and more.
In future proposals, Future Learning Lab engages in studies of learning interactions, impacts, cultures and the management of learning from a perspective on global learning.