Online Learning Update

May 29, 2011

Learning online, the sky’s the limit

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Diana Hinds, the Guardian

Most colleges and universities run their own virtual learning environment, through which students can download course materials and communicate with their tutors online. The majority of courses now include a digital component, giving students the chance to work collaboratively through forums, blogs, wikis and video conferencing. All of this, the institutions argue, makes for better connection, improved access and increased flexibility – allowing students to learn at a time and in a place that best suits them. The Open University (OU) has been using computers since 1969 to educate its distance learners, many of whom work either part-time or full-time, and it now has a policy that every student needs a computer. For more disadvantaged students, the OU provides training and grants to help them buy a computer and get online. “We try to make courses as easy as possible to access,” says Niall Sclater, OU director of learning innovation. “All you need is a web browser: if you can buy a book on Amazon, you should be able to use our websites.”

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