ERIC Number: ED162171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Teaching and Learning at a Distance: The Experience of Britain's Open University. (Wesbrook Memorial Alumni Lecture). Occasional Papers in Continuing Education, Number 15.
In a speech on the development of formalized systems for distance education, the British Open University is highlighted. Three themes are addressed: (1) objectives, methods, and evaluation of Great Britain's Open University, (2) examination and comparison of similar institutions in other countries, and (3) development of guidelines for initiation of similar institutions. The communications explosion has led to a worldwide trend toward participative democracy. First prompted by politicians and then by government, the Open University was designed to give excluded students a second chance at higher education. Access was to be easy, but there would be no compromise on materials or academic standards. There would be no qualifications, costs would be reasonable, and education would be taken to students. Radio and television would serve as adjuncts. Since 1971, over 120,000 have been admitted, with course success rate being about 70-75%. The university has largely achieved its objectives, and the British academic world has accepted the degree in standard. Success has led to world interest in the distance learning concept, though foreign countries address differently their needs, populations, and financing. One shared concept is that it is possible and practical to educate through nontraditional modes. It can be concluded that, among other things, courses must be specifically designed for the target population, and one should make use of available mass communication systems. (CSS)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Access to Education, Adult Education, Adult Programs, Degrees (Academic), Educational Innovation, Educational Radio, Educational Television, External Degree Programs, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Nontraditional Students, Open Education, Open Enrollment, Program Development
Centre for Continuing Education, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1W5 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Univ., Vancouver. Center for Continuing Education.
Identifiers: Open University (Great Britain)
Note: Paper presented at the Frank Fairchild Wesbrook Memorial Alumni Lectureship Dinner (Vancouver, British Columbia, February 16, 1978)