Keynote Speaker

“How the Failure of e-Learning during the Covid-19 Lockdown Could Have Been Avoided Through Enhanced Learning Design Alignment”

Thomas C. Reeves, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Learning, Design, and Technology, The University of Georgia, USA


After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, educators at every level struggled to provide adequate learning opportunities for their students. The Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns forced educational institutions to rush to provide online instruction and other forms of digital learning, a massive shift that has been largely dissatisfying for learning and teachers alike. What was forgotten in the race to provide teaching and learning opportunities online was that the effectiveness of e-learning requires careful alignment among seven critical factors: 1) objectives, 2) content, 3) instructional design, 4) learner tasks, 5) instructor roles, 6) technological affordances, and 7) assessment. Research and evaluation studies focused on e-learning programs unambiguously indicate that misalignments among these factors are all too common. For example, although a digital learning program may have appropriate objectives, accurate content, and even innovative instructional designs, its assessment strategies might be misaligned by focusing on what is easy to measure rather than what is important. This presentation will describe the importance of alignment and strategies for designing well-aligned interactive e-learning programs with examples taken from award-winning online learning programs developed by the World Health Organization and other groups.



Thomas C. Reeves, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Learning, Design, and Technology in the College of Education at The University of Georgia. He was a Fulbright Lecturer in Peru and has given invited presentations in the USA and more than 30 other countries. In 2003, he received the AACE Fellowship Award from the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, in 2010 he was made a Fellow of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE), and in 2013 he received the Lifetime Award from the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS) as well as the David H. Jonassen Excellence in Research Award by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). He is the former editor of the Journal of Interactive Learning Research, and the author of more than 200 scholarly papers and books. His co-authored books include Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation, A Guide to Authentic E-Learning, Conducting Educational Design Research (two editions), MOOCs and Open Education Around the World, and MOOCs and Open Education in the Global South. His current research interests include educational design research, active learning, and medical and public health education. His scholarly work has been cited over 28,000 times in the research literature placing him among the top two percent of most-cited scientists in the world according to a recent bibliographic