How to enable collaboration for implementation of open, flexible, and distance education in a Nordic context

Sólveig Jakobsdóttir, Ebba Ebba Ossiannilsson*, John Dalsgarð, Jörgen Grubbe, Kaisa Honkonen, Ebba Köber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This concise paper and session discuss how to establish a regional network and task force in open, flexible, and distance learning. The insights for participants taking part in this session are how to build collaborative work in a region, in this case the Nordic region as well as the autonomous territories, such as the Faroe Islands so far. The network aims to create a better digital future for all through open, flexible learning and distance education, focusing on the potential and opportunities for the futures through digital transformative education and the next generations of educators and learners, which alos are in line with the EDEN DLE 2023 conference. NordFlexOn is a Nordic network for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (OFDL), established by ICDE in 2019. Professionals from digital schools, universities, and other educational institutions decided to establish a Nordic network for OFDL at a meeting in Lillehammer on April 13, 2019. A core group got informally together at an EDEN conference in 2018 where the idea came up and did some groundwork with discussions and a survey among Nordic professionals of OFDL which revealed high interest for such a. network. The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) agreed to host NordFlexOn for an initial period of four years (2019 - 2023). The NordFlexOn network initiative has been endorsed by the national associations in the OFDL area. It was agreed that network members should have a connection to their national OFDL organization and/or ICDE. In four of the countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), there are already associations in OFDL that have
been operating for years, and in Iceland there are plans to establish one. NordFlexOn can be an important forum to share information and research to strengthen the operation and membership of these associations and can
provide opportunities to synchronize important events including conferences and webinars. The development of the network NordFlexOn was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the opportunity has come to revive NordFlexOn and use it to launch a Nordic Taskforce as part of the ICDE Global Advocacy Campaign for OFDL.Through knowledge exchange, networking and project coordination, the network aims to:
• Identify potential and current challenges to OFDL adoption and development in the Nordic region
• Advocate for high quality OFDL in the Nordic countries and beyond
• Facilitate cross-national collaboration and dissemination of practise- and research-based knowledge on OFDL across the Nordic region.
The network is open to all relevant individuals and associations in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Norway, as well as the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland and the autonomous region of Åland and can be used free of charge. The NordFlexOn currently have country leads from 6 countries. Regarding Nordic added value, we at NordFlexOn believe that it is important to emphasize that Nordic transnational cooperation must be strengthened. We are so similar that we understand each other. At the
same time, we are also so different that we can learn a lot from each other. The establishment of this network and how it works is something completely new. The knowledge is shared in the partner networks both at the institutional level and to individuals working with OFDL.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages113
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023
EventEDEN (Digital Learning Europe) Annual Conference 2023: “Yes we can!” – Digital Education for Better Futures - Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 18 Jun 202320 Jun 2023


ConferenceEDEN (Digital Learning Europe) Annual Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleEDEN Annual Conference
Internet address


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