Calls for papers


International Journal of Innovation and Learning
International Journal of Innovation and Learning


ICBL 2021/ISET 2021: Special Issue on: "Towards Flexible Learning to Mitigate Emerging Risks"

Guest Editors:
Dr. Lap-Kei Lee, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong, China
Prof. Shinichi Sato, Nihon Fukushi University, Japan

Flexible learning focuses on providing learners choices to flexibly control the pace, place, content, and mode of their learning. Over the past decades, the pedagogical and technological innovations on teaching and learning offers more choices of delivery mode to learners, ranging from traditional face-to-face classes to online learning, open learning, distance learning, and mobile learning, where learners have greater control and more interactions in their learning. Learners are able to learn on more interactive learning materials, interact more with their instructors and fellow classmates through chat rooms and discussion boards. Advances in technology also enables new approaches as to how learning is delivered (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality) and assessed. Education researchers and practitioners have been actively studying how increasing flexibility impacts on student learning and the quality of that learning experience.

This year’s outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a sudden campus closure worldwide. According to UNESCO statistics, the pandemic has affected more than 1.3 billion school students at all levels from 186 countries. It poses different emerging risks to regular teaching and learning, especially in the delivery mode and assessment design. Many schools and universities shifted to online teaching, but many teachers and students are not readily adapted to and engaged in the new environment. These bring out new issues on planning lessons, delivering flexible instructions, preparing materials and tools for teaching and learning, and designing class activities. All of these involve flexible learning in the pedagogical design and learning process. There are also emerging risks on assessing students’ performance and evaluating the learning outcomes, such as dealing with plagiarisms and collusions. Flexible assessments based on competency (rather than time) and ongoing formative and summative evaluations are desirable. Some existing online teaching methods may become ineffective; the huge number of concurrent online classes leads to a burst of network traffic and a high demand on the computing power and storage capacity of the learning management systems, affecting the learning experience of students. This Special Issue focuses on pedagogical and technological innovations for mitigating these emerging risks through flexible learning. The intent of this call is to disseminate research findings and share practices on these pedagogical and technological innovations.

The Guest Editors will be inviting substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 14th International Conference on Blended Learning (ICBL 2021) and 7th International Symposium on Educational Technology (ISET 2021) for review and potential publication, but are also inviting other experts to submit articles for this call.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Flexible learning processes
  • Flexible pedagogical design
  • Evaluation of flexible learning
  • Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
  • Content development for flexible learning
  • Intelligent tutoring and advising systems
  • Learning platforms and content management systems
  • Massive open online courses (MOOCs)
  • Personalized learning
  • Learning analysis and assessment
  • Issues in online assessment
  • Use of social media for teaching and learning
  • Virtual and augmented reality for teaching and learning

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

If you have any queries concerning this special issue, please email Guest Editor Dr. Lap-Kei Lee (

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 21 December, 2021