Commonwealth Co-operation in Open Learning

Commonwealth Co-operation in Open Learning

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John Coffey, Geoffrey Hubbard, Chris Humphries, Janet Jenkins, Chris Yates
01 Jan 1988
9781848594425 (PDF)
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  • Introduction

    This study was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in response to the Communique issued by the Commonwealth Heads of Government following their meeting in the Bahamas in October 1985 which requested the Commonwealth Secretary-General "to explore the scope for new Commonwealth initiatives in the field open learning"

  • The Nature and Uses of Open Learning

    Open learning is best understood as an attitude rather than a system; the intention is to make education and training available to learners in forms, at times and in places such that they can take advantage of it. The task of the open learning developer is to identify the barriers which stand in the way of potential students and to work to remove them.

  • Distance and Open Learning in the Commonwealth
  • The Effectiveness of Distance Education

    The measurement of effectiveness within education is a difficult issue, and much more difficult than politicians would like to believe. It is not simply about achieving objectives, because a system that steadfastly achieves objectives that do not reflect social or individual needs should hardly be called effective. A full consideration of effectiveness must also take into account the quality and relevance of the objectives set, and the accidental benefits or 'spinoffs' that may accrue to different approaches or programmes.

  • Existing Cooperation and Collaboration

    There are four primary components in an open learning system; (i) course production, (ii) delivery, (iii) student support and (iv) assessment and accreditation. Collaboration may relate to any or all of these components. There are also different geographical patterns, extending to a sub-region, a region or to the whole Commonwealth, and further, collaboration may be bilateral (between two countries or institutions) or multilateral, involving either a few or many countries or institutions.

  • Findings and Recommendations

    In our survey, in the regional papers and on our visits, we found widespread enthusiasm for collaboration in distance education. In most places, however, especially among distance educators in the third world sections of the Commonwealth, the enthusiasm was for practical down-to-earth collaboration which would make real differences to the range and quality of distance education facilities they could offer to their students, rather than for grandiose and expensive schemes, which benefit only a select few.

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