ERIC Number: ED306939
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Creating a Technologically Innovative Climate: The British Open University Experience. IET Paper No. 252.
Bates, A. W.
This report describes the role of the Open University (OU) in providing technologically innovative opportunities in adult and continuing education in Britain. An introductory section explains the purpose of the Open University; its history and principles; its programs of study; its teaching methods and media; technology in its teaching system (print, broadcasting, audiocassettes, videocassettes, computers, videodiscs, and satellites); its costs; and external recognition of the open university system. A second part presents two case studies illustrating how the OU teaches about technology at the undergraduate and professional levels. In the first example, course components (applications areas, technical and social "tributaries," role of the television programs, and policy for home computing) are explained. The second example offers a description of a series of 12 short practical courses aimed at updating professional engineers in the manufacturing industry. The paper concludes with a discussion of key factors in developing an open university: (1) the need for a relatively large number of students to justify the large initial cost of designing quality distance teaching materials; (2) the apparent fact that quality costs money; (3) the need for working in conjunction with industry and government; (4) the importance of designing a complete system for open learning; and (5) the need for consistent and high-level political support for open universities. (14 references) (CGD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.