Lessons from a pandemic for the future of education

Note that the conference call is now closed.

The gradual transition from traditional classroom-based education to online teaching and learning has been accelerated by the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it started, our way of life, work, and education have been irrevocably changed. When we look back upon this extraordinary period in our history, we see that this crisis has forced educators to reappraise their roles, professional practices, and beliefs. As a consequence, teachers and students have been forced online, highlighting a range of skills and knowledge that were sorely in demand. There has been an inevitable need for educational institutions to make key strategic decisions on how to provide both access to relevant tools, support in their use, and training for both educators and learners, so that teaching staff can engage online with their students in a meaningful way.

EDEN has a long history of supporting educators in online and distance education, providing a forum for discussion, learning, and refinement of best practices in this area. This pandemic has been no exception. Since the first national lockdowns started in European countries back in early 2020, a series of initiatives have been launched to support EDEN members during this crisis. The interest shown by members for these initiatives has been very high, with large numbers of participants and a clear desire to share and reach consensus.

This year’s conference is, therefore, intended as a continuation of the efforts of EDEN to support educators by providing a space to explore the issues and insights that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended to enable educators to share their experiences and best practices related to a range of topics relevant to this situation. These topics are explicitly listed below but include issues such as: learner-centeredness in education; the continued evolution of online and distance learning; transitioning from emergency remote teaching to online learning; digital preparedness, digital literacy, and digital citizenship; the continued adoption of Artificial Intelligence; methodological advances; potentiating health and wellness in online education; and non-traditional assessment solutions.

Not only does this conference provide attendees with the perfect opportunity to explore this range of topics, but it also provides us with a space to reflect upon the role that online and distance education will have after the pandemic. As noted in our webinar series #covid19 #onlinetogether Education in a time of a pandemic, fully online education on a global scale is unprecedented in the history of education. Today we are talking about the “new normal” and “future normal”. What will this future look like? How can EDEN members help to shape it and bring their insights to bear?

PhD Symposium Madrid 2021

The EDEN 2021 PhD Symposium Madrid will be organized on 21 June 2021, in the frame of the Annual Conference.

The Symposium, held in previous years in Barcelona (2018), Bruges (2019), Dublin (2019), Timisoara (2020) and Lisbon (2020) has been designed to foster the exchange of experiences and knowledge among doctoral students doing research in the area of technology enhanced online, digital, open and distance learning, providing a valuable forum for the advancement of doctoral research. The Symposium is led by a panel of international experts.

More information about the EDEN PhD Symposium is available here.


All papers must be original and not simultaneously submitted to another journal or conference.

Submissions will be accepted until 17 May 2021.

Decisions on acceptance will be based on originality, innovation and scholarly quality of contribution, on the proposal’s relevance to the conference themes, further the proven experience of the author(s). Contributions not matching the conference themes will meanwhile also be considered if they bring new knowledge and benefit to delegates.

The reviewers and the program committee will make the final decision as to the format which will be assigned to the accepted submissions in order to ensure appropriate conference experience and structure.

Quality and Recognition

The tradition of awarding the EDEN Best Research Paper will be continued. The selection process takes place in collaboration with the Ulrich Bernath Foundation for Research in Open and Distance Learning.

An award for the Young Scholars’ Best Paper may also be issued, subject to receiving submissions of significant quality in this category.


Accepted Full papers contributions (except workshops, training and demonstrations) with registered authors will be published online in the electronic Conference Proceedings (ISSN 2707-2819), under a Creative Commons license. The Conference Proceedings Full papers will be submitted to indexing by scientific databases as CEEOL, SCOPUS, PROQUEST, EBSCO.

Accepted workshop, poster, demonstration and synergy contributions with registered authors will be published online in the Short Paper Book, under a Creative Commons license, with ISBN and available online to all participants.

More information