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International Innovation in Higher Education: The Open Universities


Open universities are analyzed from the perspective of innovation in higher education in the areas of organization/administration and curriculum/instruction. Examples are drawn from open universities internationally to illustrate what was intended to be innovative, what worked out as innovative, and what turned out unexpectedly to be innovative. Dimensions of openness include: greater access to college, flexible entrance requirements, less constraints of having to be somewhere at a particular time, award of advance credit for university credit work undertaken elsewhere, award of credit toward a degree for nonformal learning, and independent study that is self-paced. Organizational and administrative innovation in the production of home study course packages at the British Open University (UKOU), at Canada's Athabasca University, and at Australia's Deakin University is addressed, along with curricular and instructional innovation, including the use of systematic feedback from students and academic colleagues. An example of an innovation that worked is the course team at UKOU. The use of technology (radio and television) did not greatly change education, although it enhanced the standard print-based home study course. Finally, the potential for further innovation is considered. A bibliography and two tables are appended. (SW)


Shale, D. International Innovation in Higher Education: The Open Universities. Retrieved August 25, 2019 from .

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