ERIC Number: ED332832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Reaching Out to Rural Learners. Rural Economy Series Bulletin 1.
Further Education Unit, London (England).
This bulletin explores sociological and technological problems encountered in a project undertaken by the East Devon College of Further Education using an audio teleconferencing system to deliver community college courses to the rural unemployed in English villages. The project team identified the characteristics of several types of rural Devon communities and assessed the curricular needs of the rural unemployed. Target groups included the hidden unemployed (mainly women), the 18-24 age group, the long-term jobless, and those with basic educational needs. After several unsuccessful attempts in villages, the project was begun in an isolated town with 4,000 inhabitants. Considerable effort went into publicizing short introductory courses based on identified needs, but only 12 people enrolled in 2 courses. A teleconferencing bridge with data and voice telephone lines linked East Devon College and the town. Data line equipment consisted of a keyboard and digitizing pad or light pen connected to a visual display unit of high resolution. Various technical hitches on both voice and data lines resulted from operator inexperience, management problems, and malfunctions. Although the amount of education actually delivered was small, the project suggests many areas for development. A radical change in marketing methods is needed to overcome the resistance of the rural unemployed to enrolling in courses specifically designed to meet their expressed needs. Staff development sessions should address the changing needs of the rural community, the management of technical equiqpment, and the adaptation of traditional lecture material to this form of delivery. (SV)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Community Education, Distance Education, Foreign Countries, Nontraditional Education, Nontraditional Students, Outreach Programs, Pilot Projects, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Student Recruitment, Teleconferencing, Telephone Communications Systems, Unemployment
Further Education Unit, Elizabeth House, York Road, London SE1 7PH, England (free).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Further Education Unit, London (England).
Identifiers: England (Devon); Villages
Note: For project report of which this is a summary, see ED 306 048.