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From place to virtual space adb hamburg 2012

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From place to virtual space adb hamburg 2012

  1. 1. From Place to Virtual Space:Reconfiguring StudentSupport in Distance EducationAlan TaitPro Vice-ChancellorProfessor of Distance Education and DevelopmentThe Open University
  2. 2. Twin themes• The development of student support at OU UK over last 40 years• The development of ideas that are implicitly contained in this broad historical sweep• Guidelines for the direction of student support for the future ADB Hamburg 2012
  3. 3. What is happening underneaththe surface?• Disembedding• Die Entbettung?• ‘Lifting out of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space’ Giddens (1991) The Consequences of Modernity ADB Hamburg 2012
  4. 4. Characteristics of Late Modernity• Disembedding from local• Historical sweep from oral to written cultures• Role of mass communication ADB Hamburg 2012
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  6. 6. Regions and Nations England 1 London 13 OU Regions/Nations 2 South (Oxford) 3 South West (Bristol) 4 West Midlands (Birmingham) 5 East Midlands (Nottingham) 6 East (Cambridge) 7 Yorkshire (Leeds) 8 North West (Manchester) 9 North (Newcastle) 13 South East (East Grinstead) 10 Wales (Cardiff) 11 Scotland (Edinburgh) Milton Keynes (HQ) 12 Ireland (Belfast and Dublin) ADB Hamburg 2012
  7. 7. Locations ADB Hamburg 2012 7 * Please note that these are part of the same CST
  8. 8. An ancient Egyptian table calculating the number of sacrifices made of a particular type over the course of a specified period. ?date Ration record from Babylon dating to the years 594–569 BCADB Hamburg 2012
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  14. 14. 1955 ADB Hamburg 2012
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  17. 17. What else is new?• Ability to make learners responsible for sourcing (some) material• Capacity for peer and collaborative work• Richness of learning with multi-media• In industrial centre-periphery open universities, ability of central staff to engage continuously with students• Ability to deliver near-constant updating of learning materials ADB Hamburg 2012
  18. 18. Geological sense of development• Layers added to layers• Still visible• Some fossils!• What do we take out? ADB Hamburg 2012
  19. 19. Disembedding: a characteristic oflate modernity• ‘Lifting out of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space’ Giddens (1991) The Consequences of Modernity ADB Hamburg 2012
  20. 20. Disembedding• Distancing from location and physical presence• Escape from context• Key to social mobility• From or with community? ADB Hamburg 2012
  21. 21. Continuities• Cognitive/affective/systemic dimensions to student support (Tait 199?)• Support to students to achieve their goals Overall• Student as subject not object• Values which drive• and politics which negotiate choices for policy ADB Hamburg 2012
  22. 22. Vielen Dank! ADB Hamburg 2012

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