The changing role of the ODL academic: An auto-ethnographical account

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New academics struggle to make sense of the role expectations they face in the open and distance learning (ODL) context. The article is qualitative in nature and an auto-ethnographic approach is used. The methodology included thematic analysis, coding and categorising of data. I reflect on my personal journey coming from a conventional university, and having to adjust to the ODL environment. The article explores my lived experience towards finding my place within the ODL context. As a reflective study on the changing role of the ODL academic, I believe that this research could inform human resource policy at ODL institutions. It could also pave the way for a more rigorous orientation programme for new academics in ODL that takes cognisance of the feelings of self-doubt, alienation, de-humanisation and loss. The new academic needs to experience empathy from the employer before he or she can show authentic concern towards his or her students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalProgressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice
Volume35
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • ODL
  • academic staff
  • work experience
  • orientation
  • role expectations
  • auto-ethnographic

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