Dr. Hilary Perraton
Founding director of the International Research
Foundation for Open Learning. His purpose was to support and
carry out research on open and distance learning.
He focused mainly on education in developing countries and the
development of policy for open and distance learning.
Publications include –
Alternative routes to formal education (ed.)
(Johns Hopkins University Press 1982),
Distance education for teacher training (ed.)
Open and distance learning in the developing
world (Routledge 2000, second edition 2007)
Learning Abroad: A history of the Commonwealth
Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (Cambridge scholars
His theory of distance education is
expressed in the form of 14 statements.
1-5 statements concerns the way distance teaching could be
used to maximize education.
1. Can use any medium to teach anything.
2. Can fix staffing ratios that limit when teacher and student had to be
in same place and time.
3. It may be cheaper, whether measured in terms of people reached or
4. Economics achievable by distance education are functions of the level
of education, size of audience, choice of media , and sophistication of
5. May reach people who may not be reached by ordinary means.
• 6-9 Address Need to Increase Dialogue.
6. You can organize distance teaching to include dialog.
7. Tutor’s role is now that of facilitator of learning.
8. Group discussions are effective of learning relevant
9. Most communities have resources available to support
learning to its educational and economic advantage.
10-14 Deal with Method
10. Multimedia programs are likely to be more effective than
a single medium.
11. A systems approach is helpful in planning distance
12. Feedback is necessary.
13. Materials must ensure that students undertake frequent
and regular activities beyond reading, watching, and listening.
14. The key decision on which the rest depend concerns the
use of face to face learning.