Pedagogies promoting participation
in The Open University
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This chapter outlines the Open University's (OU) continued development of self-directed, student-centred learning. The preferred pedagogic framework emphasised discursive interactions between teacher and student. The chapter assesses the university's support for informal learning. Technologies enabled students to build relationships and formalise their informal knowledge while extending their structured learning into ad hoc activities and networks. The chapter discusses some of the modules presented at the OU from the early 1990s onwards. These modules illustrate some of the ways in which the OU has sought to co-ordinate reflection on experience and negotiation within a community and to allow people's interests to help frame their learning. The chapter further considers changes in the work of tutors. Each student is allocated to a local part-time tutor who provides them with general learning support, specific tutorial activities and grades, and provides feedback on completed assignments.

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