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Curricular innovation and digitisation at a mega university in the developing world: the UNISA ‘Signature Course’ project

As part of the endeavor to reposition itself in the open distance and e-learning arena, the University of South Africa (UNISA) has designed and developed six modular courses (one module per College) referred to as ‘Signature Courses’. The focus of these modules is on a student-centred online teaching and learning approach; extensive student online mentoring and support; and alternative online assessment practices, while also developing prototypes for fully online courses as the University advances in its digitisation objectives. This paper presents a case study of the achievements of the project thus far. It reports challenges the project has been facing and anticipates the trajectory the University will be following in the future as it moves decisively towards online teaching and learning.

As part of the endeavor to reposition itself in the open distance and e-learning arena, the University of South Africa ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Baijnath, Narend
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; South Africa
Journal title: Journal of learning for development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Providers of education and training; Teaching and learning;

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MOOCs in vocational education and training and higher education

This paper offers a brief overview of innovations in education, specifically massive open online courses (MOOCs), and proposes MOOC research and applications in tertiary education. The overview helps to inform funding bodies, educators and administrators on MOOCs. The paper uses the Diffusion of Innovations theory to contextualise research into MOOCs and other future scientific endeavours. The overview also illustrates two effects in the organisational diffusion of educational technologies - bandwagon and leapfrog effects. Bandwagon effects stem from social pressure rather than strategic planning driving the adoption of innovations. This 'me-too' behaviour often results in poor innovation use. In contrast to bandwagon effects, leapfrog effects hinder adoption and improve innovation use relative to early-adopter organisations. Leapfrogging organisations take a wait-and-see attitude towards adopting new technologies, and then use the technology more efficiently than many early-adopter organisations.

This paper offers a brief overview of innovations in education, specifically massive open online courses (MOOCs), and ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Murphy, Jamie; Williams, Alan; Lennox, Amy
Conference name: National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
Date: 2013
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Higher education; Vocational education and training; Technology;

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Learn while you earn: student teacher experiences of a learnership programme facilitated by open distance learning

Since the year 2000 learnerships have been introduced in all sectors of South African society including education, as a strategy to overcome the acute skills shortage which hinders national development. A learnership is defined as work-based learning with the aim of obtaining a qualification within the South African national qualification framework. Unlike an internship which provides experiential workplace learning for a successful graduate, a learnership provides work-based learning for a student who is in the process of gaining a qualification. In this context open and distance learning (ODL) is the ideal tuition model as it enables the student to work and learn full-time while engaged in formal study.

Since the year 2000 learnerships have been introduced in all sectors of South African society including education, as a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Odendaal, R. M.
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; South Africa
Journal title: Mediterranean journal of social sciences
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Providers of education and training; Workforce development;

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Informal learning and non-formal education for development

[This] article examines the issues of open, distance and technology-based informal learning and non-formal education for individual and community development. It argues that these two modes of education, which are estimated to constitute 70-90 per cent of lifelong learning, are insufficiently represented in the literature of open and distance learning and development. To ensure that these forms of provision take their rightful place alongside the mainstream systems of formal education, it is posited that far more research and evaluation is needed in order to demonstrate their potential and evidence quality in their outputs, outcomes and impacts.

[This] article examines the issues of open, distance and technology-based informal learning and non-formal education for ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Latchem, Colin
Date: 2014
Journal title: Journal of learning for development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Providers of education and training; Adult and community education;

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Investments by the commercial banks in training of rural communities and its impact: scope of open and distance learning

It is well recognized that investment in rural training and extension services has to either precede or happen simultaneously with rural credit, for improving agricultural productivity and increasing farmers' income. But reaching out to about 70 million rural households of small, marginal farmers and landless labourers through traditional face-to-face training would be expensive and time consuming. Open and distance learning (ODL) with the help of information and communication technology is an alternative to achieve much larger out-reach at lower cost. This report evaluates investments by the commercial banks in training of rural communities and its impact, utilizing open and distance learning.

It is well recognized that investment in rural training and extension services has to either precede or happen ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Kumar K, Naveen; Kulkarni, Anjali
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Asia; India
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Demographics; Disadvantaged; Skills and knowledge;

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Innovations in learning and development: a case from the Arab world

The 21t century witnessed innovative practices in the advancement of learning in the developed world as a consequence of the technological revolution of the period and the increased demand for higher education (Bax, 2011; Barab, King and Gray, 2004; Roman, 2001). Education was perceived as the cornerstone for development, sustainability and modernisation (Fitzpatrick and Davies, 2003). The booming of open, distance and e-learning changed the quality of lives for people as it offered additional venues to higher education that overcame problems of exclusivity and scarcity, specifically at times of shrinking public funding (Dhanarajan, 2011). The founding of the Open University in Britain in 1969 targeted a limitless audience with innovative teaching and learning modes. Since it was founded, more than 1.5 million students have studied its courses. The Open University was rated 'top university in England and Wales' for student satisfaction in 2005, 2006 and 2012.

The 21t century witnessed innovative practices in the advancement of learning in the developed world as a consequence of the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Al-Khatib, Hyat
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Middle East; Lebanon
Journal title: Journal of learning for development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Governance; Technology;

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New strategies and advances in China's open and distance education

The rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT) is transforming the entire world. The application of Internet technology has become a strategic choice for educational reform and development in every country around the world. Within the domain of open and distance education, one of China's key strategies and choices has been to establish and successfully manage the Open University of China (OUC). This paper is oriented towards the overall planning and thinking of successfully operating the OUC from the perspectives of making full use of cloud computing, and developing a new online teaching and learning model and quality assurance system for open and distance education.

The rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT) is transforming the entire world. The application of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Zhijian, Yang
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: China; Asia
Journal title: International journal of continuing education and lifelong learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Providers of education and training; Teaching and learning; Higher education;

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Undergraduate ODL students' graduateness in relation to their employability attributes and examination preparation styles

The open distance learning teaching context poses unique challenges and opportunities for cultivating students' graduateness. However, more research is needed on how students' graduateness relates to their examination preparation styles and employability attributes, and how these influence teaching practice in the open distance learning (ODL) context. These constructs are under-researched in the South African ODL higher education context.

The open distance learning teaching context poses unique challenges and opportunities for cultivating students' ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Coetzee, Melinde; Potgieter, Ingrid
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Students; Employment;

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Producing graduates who meet employer expectations: open and distance learning is a viable option

In this new age of globalization, higher education plays an increasingly important role in preparing a workforce which meets rapidly changing industry needs. There is now a critical need to re-examine the function of tertiary education such that it not only caters to fresh school-leavers but of equal importance, provides opportunities for the further up-skilling and upgrading of people who are already employed. With a substantial proportion of people who have yet to obtain a basic degree, conventional universities by themselves are highly unlikely to be able to meet the demands of providing tertiary education to all who need or want further education, in the near or even distant future. Open and distance learning programs, which are able to contribute significantly to lifelong learning efforts, however, have constantly been regarded as 'the lower quality alternative' with their flexible entry policy and flexible learning modes.

In this new age of globalization, higher education plays an increasingly important role in preparing a workforce which meets ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Lim, Tina; Fadzil, Mansor; Latif, Latifah Abdol;
Conference name: International Lifelong Learning Conference
Date: 2011
Geographic subjects: Malaysia; Asia
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Higher education; Students;

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Open Education 2030: planning the future of adult learning in Europe

Adult learning and open education have become key elements on the European Agenda. This paper presents the first results of a foresight activity that aims to contribute to an understanding of how 'opening up education' can improve adult learning in Europe in the future. It argues that to open up adult learning two main challenges must be overcome: the extent to which learners need guidance and, depending on the learning goals, the extent to which learners need recognition and certification. On the basis of these challenges, four non-exclusive scenarios are presented, illustrating different versions and contexts for open adult learning. The main conclusion of the paper is that in order to enhance the quality of adult learning and to avoid the risk of social exclusion, policy-makers need to develop a framework that allows learners to flexibly move between different learning scenarios. Learners also need to acquire 'open education competences'. Finally, a roadmap is presented outlining how this future vision could be implemented.

Adult learning and open education have become key elements on the European Agenda. This paper presents the first results of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Munoz, Jonatan Castano; Redecker, Christine; Vuorikari, Riina;
Conference name: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities Conference
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Europe
Journal title: Open learning: the jorunal of open, distance and e-learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Lifelong learning; Teaching and learning; Outcomes

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