Tag Archives: Distance education

Homage to Lord Crowther – 50th anniversary of the UK Open University Foundation

ABSTRACT. On July 23, 1969, the Chancellor Lord Geoffrey Crowther gave the inaugural speech of the UK Open University, renowned for the words starting its four paragraphs: “we are open as to people, as to places, as to methods, as to ideas”, stating a concept of openness which characterized the mission of the Open University and still does so. The concept of this institution has been set since 1963 with another name, “university of the air”, aiming to take advantage of the new technologies in order to allow higher education to reach a wider public, namely adult students. In this paper we focus on the switch that took place from 1963 to 1969 to the new concept, “openness”, that linked the two traditional aspects, “people” and “places”, with the methodological issue, coming in the same years from the curriculum theories. We then discuss how the concept of openness evolved thereafter, with the introduction, in the last 15 years, of the Open Educational Resources and the Massive Open Online Courses.We then report an extract of the transcript of Lord Crowther’s speech, after highlighting its importance in the history of Distance Education.

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Authoritarianism and totalitarianism – A case study of multimedia and interdisciplinary teaching

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this contribution is to present a highly significant case study where the operating methods and the finalities of a multimedia and interdisciplinary education path have been shown. It was necessary that the teaching staff and technicians at the Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi work in synergy to rise up to the challenge of the modern techno-didactics, in particular with the selection and application of digital and visual technologies that are especially effective for teaching in the humanistic and history of art field.

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Creativity in online courses: perceptions of MBA students

Creativity is a key competency skill sought after by many employers. And yet, one of the major criticism of business schools relates to the lack of programs that promote creative and/or innovative thinking. This could be compounded by the fact that a large number of business programms are currently offered online. Consequently, the issue of whether online education stifles or enhances students` creativity is brought to the forefront. Using this question, the authors engaged in an inquiry process dealing with MBA students` perceptions of how online courses impact their creativity. Based on students` feedback, it appears that taking online courses generally enhances their creativity. They are not only more inclined to be creative thinkers, but also more likely to be organized and exercise critical thinking. The students noted, however, that online instructors are largely instrumental in enhancing creativity. They also suggest that creativity cannot be integrated equally in all types of business courses.

Article originally published in “MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching“, V.3 (2007), n. 4. //jolt.merlot.org/ This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Licence (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/).

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Remote Access to Instrumental Analysis for Distance Education in Science

Remote access to experiments offers distance educators another tool to integrate a strong laboratory component within a science course. Since virtually all modern chemical instrumental analysis in industry now use devices operated by a computer interface, remote control of instrumentation is not only relatively facile, it enhances students’ opportunity to learn the subject matter and be exposed to ‘real world’ contents. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Athabasca University are developing teaching laboratories based on the control of analytical instruments in real-time via an Internet connection. Students perform real-time analysis using equipment, methods, and skills that are common to modern analytical laboratories (or sophisticated teaching laboratories). Students obtain real results using real substances to arrive at real conclusions, just as they would if they were in a physical laboratory with the equipment; this approach allows students to access to conduct instrumental science experiments, thus providing them with an advantageous route to upgrade their laboratory skills while learning at a distance.

Article originally appeared in: The International Review on Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), V. 6, n.3, 2005. Copyright Athabasca University. Reprinted with permission.

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