Digital publishing at the African Virtual University: Creating more opportunities for scholarly publishing for African ODeL researchers and implications for policy-making
Since the integration of Open, Distance and eLearning (ODeL) into mainstream educational landscape in Africa in the 1990s, its impact on learning and teaching processes and environments is still a relatively unknown territory. This is partly due to the paucity of a strong body of research on the multiple dimensions of ODeL use to enhance access to quality and equitable educational opportunities by many on the continent. But this is not only specific to ODeL. Research and publishing in Africa have been a perennial challenge for the continent’s higher education institutions. Indigenous scholarly journals in all subjects are far and in between and have been characterized as lacking in many aspects. Furthermore, and in the particular case of ODeL, this situation is also making it difficult for policy-makers and other key players and stakeholders such as schools, universities and learning institutions in general to have at their disposal a robust body of evidence that can be used for informed decision-making on the best use of ODeL for greater impact. This is why AVU’s initiative to establish a scholarly journal solely dedicated to research on ODeL is a welcome development for accomplished and emerging researchers on the topic in Africa.