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ERIC Number: ED318422
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-6
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Experiences from the British Open University and Pointers to the Future.
Bates, A. W.
This paper begins with a short description of the British Open University which covers the programs of study (undergraduate, continuing education, and higher degrees); mediums of teaching (correspondence texts, broadcast television, audiocassettes, radio, face-to-face or telephone tutorials, audioconferencing, summer schools, home experiment kits, and home computers); teaching staff, regional services, and administration; income and expenditures; and external recognition. A general discussion of distance education considers criteria defining distance education and open learning systems, important characteristics of distance education--student autonomy and provision of a complete learning experience--and ideological issues in the way distance education is provided. The spread of distance education and reasons for its growing popularity are also addressed. Important developments at the Open University are then described: (1) a coherent and balanced program leading to a recognized degree; (2) the continuing education program; (3) high quality teaching materials designed for independent distance learners; (4) an extensive student support service; (5) involvement with other educational institutions in Britain; and (6) extensive use of technology. Lessons learned from the Open University are presented, and the paper concludes with discussion of the future of distance education which focuses on extended vocational and continuing education programs, technology, course design, internationalization, and new organizations for provision of distance education. Three references are listed. (MES)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A