chapter  25
10 Pages

A MASTER’S IN OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCATION FOR UNIVERSITY STAFF

ByDAVID HAWKRIDGE

The United Kingdom Open University (OU) started up in the 1970s with very few of its staff knowing anything at all about open and distance education. This was as true of the academic staff preparing the materials as it was of the administrators setting up the systems and of the tutors guiding and assessing students. Today, throughout the world, a great many universities whose staff know how to teach face-to-face on campus are trying to attract and teach students through open and distance education networks. Again, few of these staff have any knowledge of what is involved. The rest need to learn fast if costly and painful mistakes are to be avoided and quality is to be maintained. These staff are already graduates. A suitable recognised professional qualification could be a Master’s in Open and Distance Education. The OU now offers such a course, available in all countries (except in Australia, by agreement). It is a unique degree, built on know-how accumulated over nearly thirty years, with full use of electronic tutoring and the Web.