chapter  23
8 Pages

Face-to-Face at a Distance

In this chapter, the term open learning is used to describe a variety of flexible approaches by which teachers and learners empowered, by having most choice over what, how, where, when and at what speed, they learn. The chapter considers some of the major implications of this argument, in the light of research into implementation of open learning initiatives in social work in the UK, carried out by the Open Learning Foundation (OLF), a consortium of universities and colleges based mainly in the UK. This chapter deals with the following: concepts of open, flexible and distance learning; the professional social context work education in the UK; relevant developments in open and flexible learning; mobilising factors, drawn from case studies of successful initiatives; barriers to open and flexible learning initiatives; wider relevance of findings; implications for other professional/vocational areas of higher education; the case for a systemic approach to development of open and flexible learning environments in higher education.