The Story of ‘Open’
RIDE conference, Centre for Distance Education, University
of London International Programmes, 2013
Al...
3 themes
• Openness
• Quality and drop-out
• Commoditisation

2
Gutenberg and open
• Moving type
• c.1450
• Massification of text
reproduction
• Access to knowledge
• Movement of
knowled...
Railways and open to place
• Live and
work in
different
places
• Daytrips
• 1848:
Correspond
-ence
education
4

4
1900: Speaking at a distance

5
The search engine: opening up the
world
• 1990: Archie
McGill University, Montreal
• 1996: Altavista
DEC, California

• As...
University of London
• 1858: University of London External
Studies: first university to be open to place
• 1878: Universit...
‘The wireless university’
• 1926: J.C. ‘Jack’ Stobart, first Director of
Education at the BBC proposed
‘the wireless unive...
Establishment of Open University
1962/1969
• Michael Young

• Harold Wilson

9
A woman made it happen:
Jennie Lee, Minister of Education

10
The Open University in 2013
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

240,000 students
Undergraduates: 185,000
Masters: 17,500
Doctoral: 500
Validate...
Pushing at boundaries
•
•
•
•
•
•

Place
Social class
Gender
Disability
Wider or open entry to Higher Education
Always tho...
What has openness in education
meant?
• Attack on notion that quality means exclusion
• Reversal: quality means inclusion
...
Quality and Distance and ELearning

The challenge of drop-out

14
Drop out UK, Higher Education, all
modes
• 21.6% failed to complete degree in
2010/11
• 32% at University of Highland and ...
Leave HE after 1 full year of study
UK
• Full time 7.4%
• Part time 35.1%
• Open University 44.7%

HESA Non-continuation r...
HEFCE study of part-time
undergraduate completion 1996-97
First degree
awarded

No longer active

UK Higher
Education
Inst...
HEFCE’s refinement of data
•
•

..around half of part-time entrants in the years 2003-04 to 2006-07
in this OU population ...
Open access
• 45% of Open University students have
one A level or less
• Less than minimum conventional
university entry q...
Doing worse or doing more difficult
things?
• With busy working students
• With ethnic diversity
• With less or no demand ...
What does drop out represent?
• Not status of university
• Not Distance and on-line modes
• But risk and challenges of ope...
What is to be done about drop out
in e-learning?
Respond to major factors in drop-out
•
•
•
•

Time pressure
Self-manageme...
Three main student
support models at OU
• 1976-2000
Tutor-counsellor, embedded in local study centre
for whole qualificati...
Regions and Nations
England

13 OU Regions/Nations

Milton Keynes (HQ)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
13

London
South (Oxford)
South ...
Open University Study Experience
Programme
• Overall aim: to move OU qualification completion
rates to sector average for ...
Study Support Teams from 2014

26

26
National Student Survey UK
• Feedback from ‘Final Year’
undergraduates
• ‘feedback on what is has been like to
study their...
Re-assessing student support in
ODL
• In second generation DE, place meant
separation of Student Support, curriculum
and a...
Is openness and inclusion worth it?
•
•
•
•
•

Is inclusion important?
Rights-based approach: Social justice
Skilled and k...
Other contemporary ‘opens’
• Open source software: anti proprietory
ethos
• Open access publishing
• Open educational reso...
Open access publishing
• Challenge to dominant journal business
model
• New entrants, IRRODL, EURODL,
TOJDE, JL4D
• Books ...
Focus and Scope
The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the
publication of research with a focus on i...
Open Educational Resources
• 2001: Creative Commons license
• 2012: UNESCO ‘OER’s as a means of
promoting access, equity a...
Journeys from informal to formal learning
through open media

34

34
34
iTunes U
Open Learn

Visitors since launch: 22
million
Visitors 2011/12: 5.4 million

I Tunes

Visitors since start: 2.9
m...
Observations on MOOCs
• Passion for learning on huge scale
• Drop out huge: but is universal completion the
aim?
• Quality...
http://futurelearn.com/
• Platform for Higher Education, mostly UK
research intensive universities
• Free
• Will be social...
‘Closed’ continues
• Neo-liberal approach to higher education
as commodity and private good
• USA tuition fee debt: 1 bill...
Battle of ideas
• Education a contested domain as private
or public good
• Commodity or tax supported/free
• As locus for ...
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RIDE2013 keynote: The Story of 'Open'

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Keynote Presentation by Professor Alan Tait (UK Open University) at the CDE’s Research and Innovation in Distance Education and eLearning conference, held at Senate House London on 1 November 2013.

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    (Talk through areas of the table that are relevant to your audience – a good point to check for understanding and opportunity to raise questions)
  • RIDE2013 keynote: The Story of 'Open'

    1. 1. The Story of ‘Open’ RIDE conference, Centre for Distance Education, University of London International Programmes, 2013 Alan Tait Professor of Distance Education and Development The Open University, UK 1 1
    2. 2. 3 themes • Openness • Quality and drop-out • Commoditisation 2
    3. 3. Gutenberg and open • Moving type • c.1450 • Massification of text reproduction • Access to knowledge • Movement of knowledge 3
    4. 4. Railways and open to place • Live and work in different places • Daytrips • 1848: Correspond -ence education 4 4
    5. 5. 1900: Speaking at a distance 5
    6. 6. The search engine: opening up the world • 1990: Archie McGill University, Montreal • 1996: Altavista DEC, California • As important as Gutenberg’s printing press? 6
    7. 7. University of London • 1858: University of London External Studies: first university to be open to place • 1878: University of London: first university to be open to women 7
    8. 8. ‘The wireless university’ • 1926: J.C. ‘Jack’ Stobart, first Director of Education at the BBC proposed ‘the wireless university’ 8
    9. 9. Establishment of Open University 1962/1969 • Michael Young • Harold Wilson 9
    10. 10. A woman made it happen: Jennie Lee, Minister of Education 10
    11. 11. The Open University in 2013 • • • • • • • 240,000 students Undergraduates: 185,000 Masters: 17,500 Doctoral: 500 Validated programmes 37,000 Qualifications: 320 Graduates: nearly 1 million qualifications awarded • Academic staff: 1100 • Tutors (Associate lecturers): 7000 11
    12. 12. Pushing at boundaries • • • • • • Place Social class Gender Disability Wider or open entry to Higher Education Always those who say ‘no point in educating them’ 12
    13. 13. What has openness in education meant? • Attack on notion that quality means exclusion • Reversal: quality means inclusion • Element in democratisation of society since mid 19th C in Europe • Disembedding of individual from the local 13 13
    14. 14. Quality and Distance and ELearning The challenge of drop-out 14
    15. 15. Drop out UK, Higher Education, all modes • 21.6% failed to complete degree in 2010/11 • 32% at University of Highland and Islands • 21.4% University of Bolton • 1.4% University of Cambridge • Improvement overall from previous year HESA Non-continuation rates Table 3A and table 3E 15
    16. 16. Leave HE after 1 full year of study UK • Full time 7.4% • Part time 35.1% • Open University 44.7% HESA Non-continuation rates Table 3A and table 3E 16
    17. 17. HEFCE study of part-time undergraduate completion 1996-97 First degree awarded No longer active UK Higher Education Institutions (non OU) 39% 59% OU 22% 75% • Table 4 Outcomes of part-time first degree entrants in 1996-97 after 11 academic years p14 17
    18. 18. HEFCE’s refinement of data • • ..around half of part-time entrants in the years 2003-04 to 2006-07 in this OU population begin first degree courses, and half begin modules for institutional credits. It is important to note this 50/50 split when considering earlier cohorts and, in particular, the results reported throughout this report with regard to entrants to the OU in 1996-97. If it is assumed that a similar split between first degree and institutional credits occurs in the earlier years of the OU time series, and that a large proportion of those embarking only on institutional credits do not intend to and do not gain a first degree, the true underlying rates of first degree completion for OU entrants are likely to be double the results reported in the following sections of this report. p13 18
    19. 19. Open access • 45% of Open University students have one A level or less • Less than minimum conventional university entry qualifications Source : http://www.open.ac.uk/about/main/the-ou-explained/facts-and-figures 19
    20. 20. Doing worse or doing more difficult things? • With busy working students • With ethnic diversity • With less or no demand for previous Educational qualifications (OU) • With less social and financial capital • Less resilience 20
    21. 21. What does drop out represent? • Not status of university • Not Distance and on-line modes • But risk and challenges of openness and inclusion • See Creelman and Reneland-Forsman: EURODL 2013 • Combined with competence in learning design: integration of curriculum and student support 21
    22. 22. What is to be done about drop out in e-learning? Respond to major factors in drop-out • • • • Time pressure Self-management Family Logistics and support (including technical support) • Curriculum relevance Street H (2010) Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 13:4 • Plus educational preparedness 22
    23. 23. Three main student support models at OU • 1976-2000 Tutor-counsellor, embedded in local study centre for whole qualification, plus tutor more or less local, plus Regional Centre staff • 2000-2012 Tutor, more or less local, plus Regional Centre Advisory staff • 2014 on National Student Support Team on qualification basis, plus tutor more or 23 less local 23
    24. 24. Regions and Nations England 13 OU Regions/Nations Milton Keynes (HQ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 London South (Oxford) South West (Bristol) West Midlands (Birmingham) East Midlands (Nottingham) East (Cambridge) Yorkshire (Leeds) North West (Manchester) North (Newcastle) South East (East Grinstead) 10 Wales (Cardiff) 11 Scotland (Edinburgh) 12 Ireland (Belfast and Dublin) 24 24
    25. 25. Open University Study Experience Programme • Overall aim: to move OU qualification completion rates to sector average for part-time students • ‘a new study experience that will be coherent, personal and targeted’ • Integration of student support and curriculum • Coherent student journey through qualifications • Study support teams • Improved careers service and employability 25
    26. 26. Study Support Teams from 2014 26 26
    27. 27. National Student Survey UK • Feedback from ‘Final Year’ undergraduates • ‘feedback on what is has been like to study their course at their institution’ • Open University in top 3 universities in 2006-2012 • 2012 Open University ranked FIRST with 93% satisfied with taught course 27
    28. 28. Re-assessing student support in ODL • In second generation DE, place meant separation of Student Support, curriculum and assessment elements in some OU’s • Technology now permits their reintegration in curriculum lines • Learning design subordinates ‘Student Support’ • Learner analytics supports intervention in radically improved ways 28
    29. 29. Is openness and inclusion worth it? • • • • • Is inclusion important? Rights-based approach: Social justice Skilled and knowledgeable society Always pushing at boundaries Often dismissed as ‘blithering nonsense’ (Ian Mcleod, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1970) • No way back to elite • Way forward through integrated curriculum and student support reform • ICT central for learning design and learning analytics 29
    30. 30. Other contemporary ‘opens’ • Open source software: anti proprietory ethos • Open access publishing • Open educational resources • MOOCs 30
    31. 31. Open access publishing • Challenge to dominant journal business model • New entrants, IRRODL, EURODL, TOJDE, JL4D • Books published in both modes, e.g. Weller on Digital Scholarship • UK Government and publisher response ‘Green model’ • Uneasy settlement 31
    32. 32. Focus and Scope The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content includes interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity. JL4D publishes research and case studies from researchers, scholars and practitioners, and seeks to engage a broad audience across that spectrum. It aims to encourage contributors starting their careers, as well as to publish the work of established and senior scholars from the Commonwealth and beyond. www.jl4d.org Editor-in-Chief Alan Tait 32
    33. 33. Open Educational Resources • 2001: Creative Commons license • 2012: UNESCO ‘OER’s as a means of promoting access, equity and quality in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ • 2005: OECD ‘Giving knowledge for free’ • Now thousands of OER’s • Critique of quality and outcomes 33
    34. 34. Journeys from informal to formal learning through open media 34 34 34
    35. 35. iTunes U Open Learn Visitors since launch: 22 million Visitors 2011/12: 5.4 million I Tunes Visitors since start: 2.9 million Visitors 2011/12: 63.3 million You Tube Visitors since start: 16.8 million video views Visitors 2011/12: 2.7 million video views 35
    36. 36. Observations on MOOCs • Passion for learning on huge scale • Drop out huge: but is universal completion the aim? • Quality of pedagogy improving • Have created radical conversations in researchled universities about online learning • Enhanced potential for ICT in higher education futures • Response to price barriers in USA and UK 36 36
    37. 37. http://futurelearn.com/ • Platform for Higher Education, mostly UK research intensive universities • Free • Will be social in nature • Facilities for discussion page by page • Will embed notion of ‘followers’, relating to students and tutors • Designed from start for tablet and mobile 37
    38. 38. ‘Closed’ continues • Neo-liberal approach to higher education as commodity and private good • USA tuition fee debt: 1 billion $USD • England: tuition fees now £8,600 per year • England total residential experience for BA/BSc: ? £50,000 38 38
    39. 39. Battle of ideas • Education a contested domain as private or public good • Commodity or tax supported/free • As locus for private for profit investment or tax supported public service • For those who can afford it or those who want it • ‘Market society or society with a market’ • Openness at heart of battle 39 39
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