ERIC Number: ED344007
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Activities in Distance Teaching Texts; Author's Assumptions and Expectations Contrasted with Students' Perceptions and Use. Teacher and Consultancy Centre Report No. 40.
Open University course production involves a course team that is responsible for the initial planning, production, and presentation of the teaching material. Informal work sessions with other authors create an environment critical for authors' socialization into course production and the perpetuation of course team practice. This environment promotes consensus concerning the assumptions and expectations associated with the role of activities in distance teaching texts. These constitute the "espoused theories" held by authors. The difference between what authors say they do with regard to activities and what they actually do (as illustrated in their finished teaching material) resembles the distinction between "espoused theories" and "theories in use." Evidence from 23 interviews, 18 questionnaires, and 18 self-recorded tapes provided by students reveal a gross mismatch between author "espoused theories"/"theories in use" and students' perception and use of activities. Many students could identify potential benefits associated with activities--course focused, self-focused, and assignment focused. The effect of authors'"theories in use" is to create costs for many students. The most obvious is concern over available study time. In attempting to reduce this cost by adopting particular study strategies, students incur other costs. They ignore or skimp on activities, display undue deference to authors' comments, and acquire feelings of inadequacy and guilt. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Continuing Education, Distance Education, Educational Research, Educational Theories, Foreign Countries, Learning Activities, Material Development, Open Universities, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Developed Materials, Teacher Expectations of Students, Use Studies
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.