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In this unit, we look at the ways in which adults can benefit from open learning. We explore the ways in which emerging technologies are helping to make open learning a reality for ever greater numbers of learners, and we also look at some of the ways in which the concept of open learning has been misunderstood, or misused, in recent years.

We also discuss 'e-learning' and 'e-learning 2.0', and look at some case studies of successful and not-so-successful e-learning.  


Tick the things you would like to be able to do by the end of this unit:

  1. Discuss the relationship between distance education and the principles of open learning, and the role played by Open Educational Resources (OER) and Web 2.0 in opening learning.
  2. Discuss the possible pitfalls for learners in being offered courses with no learning support.
  3. Discuss the factors that are likely to lead to success or failure of e-learning programmes.
  4. Discuss ways in which mobile devices are – or could be – used to support learners in your teaching context, if at all, and possible pitfalls related to the use of mobile devices.
  5. Consider the ways in which you can prepare your learners for e-learning at the start of a course.

Use your selected outcomes to help you decide which parts of the unit to focus on in the greatest depth.

Reading and Reflection

Click on the following links to access the materials for this unit: