Redefining the Classroom: Integration of Open and Classroom Learning in Higher Education

Redefining the Classroom: Integration of Open and Classroom Learning in Higher Education

Shikha Gupta, Sheetal Taneja, Naveen Kumar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8324-2.ch010
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The printing technology revolutionized the dissemination of knowledge at a pace never conceived of earlier. In recent times, radio and television brought education within the reach of masses. More recently, the multimedia technology, and Internet have revolutionized the delivery of education. Top universities of the world have collaborated to develop massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are made available to public either free of charge or at a nominal cost. Mainly supported by start-ups such as Coursera, Udacity, and EdX, MOOCs are mostly created by universities in United States and Europe. This essay reviews the impact of these changes on higher education using available reports, articles, and meta-analyses. Although there is no conclusive evidence of the impact of MOOCs, there is a strong possibility of MOOCs leaving a lasting mark on the traditional higher education system. This chapter falls within the book section ‘RIA and education practice of MOOCs,' aligning to the discussion on the topic of ‘educational training design.'
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Open And Distance Learning

The concept of distance learning was started with the goal of delivering education, often on an individual basis, to students who cannot be physically present in a traditional educational setting such as classrooms. This concept dates back at least as early as 1728, when Caleb Phillips placed an advertisement in 'The Boston Gazette' seeking to teach students the new method of shorthand through lessons that were to be sent weekly. Distance education initially relied on postal services and was later supplemented by radio and television broadcasting. University of London claims to be the first university to offer distance learning degrees, establishing its External Programme in 1858 which is now known as the University of London International Programme and includes postgraduate, undergraduate and diploma degrees created by colleges such as the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths (Wikipedia, 2012).

There are many definitions available for open and distance learning. Most definitions agree with following characteristics: separation of teacher and learner in time and/or place; institutional accreditation; that is, official recognition of learning from a learning institution; use of mixed forms of courseware, including print, television broadcasts, video, computer based learning and telecommunications; two-way communication that allows learners and tutors to interact rather than learner being a passive recipient of information (The Commonwealth of Learning - An Introduction to Open and Distance Learning, 2000).

Distance learning may be defined as a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies to reach learners at a distance and is designed to encourage learner interaction and certification of learning (Greenberg, 1998). Distance learning may be characterized as a method where the teacher and the learner are separate in space and possibly in time (Keegan, 1995; Teaster & Blieszner, 1999).

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