Pro Vice-Chancellor, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands
Professor Som Naidu is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor Flexible Learning, and Director of the Centre for Flexible Learning at the The University of the South Pacific. Most recently he served as Associate Professor (Learning Transformations) at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Associate Professor and Director of Teaching and Learning Quality Enhancement and Evaluation of Learning and Teaching at Charles Sturt University, NSW Australia, and Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Multimedia Education as well as Head of Research and Evaluation in the field at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Naidu has spent most of his professional life in the higher education sector in a variety of roles to do with enhancing learning and teaching practices in open, flexible, distance, online learning and elearning, as well as education more generally in various jurisdictions and contexts ranging from those in developing regions such as the South Pacific Islands, India, Sri Lanka and Africa, to developed contexts such as in New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, the USA and Australia.
He possesses undergraduate qualifications in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Waikato in New Zealand and graduate qualifications in Distance Education and in Educational Technology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He has spent sabbaticals in the Institute for Learning Sciences in the Graduate School of Computer Sciences at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA (1997), in the Learning and Teaching Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Learning and Development Directorate at the University of London, United Kingdom (2003/2004), and in the Centre for Research, Innovation and Training in eLearning, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain (2012).
His publications in the areas of his expertise include several books, book chapters, and more than a hundred peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. A frequently invited keynote speaker at national and international conferences, Professor Naidu possesses an extensive record of research and scholarship in the broad field of open, flexible and distance education, and especially in designing and implementing capacity building workshops in the areas of open educational practices, online learning and elearning. His professional consultancies in the field include numerous capacity building projects in course and curriculum design and development, online learning and elearning in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Belize, Namibia, Samoa, Maldives and the Solomon Islands.
An immediate past president of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (OODLA), Professor Naidu is Executive Editor of its journal Distance Education. In May 2014 the Open University of Sri Lanka awarded Professor Naidu a D.Litt. (Honoris Causa), in recognition of his extensive contribution to the field of open, flexible, distance and e-learning both regionally and internationally.
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands