The challenge of The Open University
in The Open University
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines The Open University (OU) impacts by considering its structures, precedents, politics, pedagogies and personalities. It focuses on distinctive aspect of the OU, its teaching methods. While the technologies and structures have changed over time, the OU has consistently used a multi-media blend of materials and approaches in its pedagogy. The chapter describes the political framework, positioning the OU within the patterns of convergence and divergence in the expanding higher education system of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It assesses the ways in which, since the 1990s, the OU has sought to enable learners to work together to create knowledge. The applicability of Clayton Christensen's ideas has been acknowledged at the OU and other universities.


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