Changing Roles and Processes in Online Tuition for Higher Education: A Case Study for the UK Open University

Changing Roles and Processes in Online Tuition for Higher Education: A Case Study for the UK Open University

Gordon Dyer (Open University in the East of England, Cambridge, UK)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-105-6.ch015
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Abstract

The case study examines a Level 1 undergraduate course delivered totally online to 8,500 students of the UK Open University (OU). Context, philosophy, design and learning outcomes are described. The author compares personal experience of tutoring the course to normal OU distance teaching methods and argues that computer-mediated conferencing (CMC) has a major impact on student learning styles and in changing roles within the teaching team; a learning community develops, triggering co-learning, co-tuition and co-counseling. The CMC also enables efficient academic and administrative information flow, and fast feedback for informal evaluation. The evaluation cycle is completed by reference to student feedback via a Web-site questionnaire and institutional change action. The study shows that technology to support global delivery is adequately robust, and success rates on the programme are similar to other OU courses. Pre-entry and online educational guidance is identified as an area needing further consideration.

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