A review of the role of national policy and institutional mission in European distance teaching universities with respect to widening participation in higher education study through open educational resources.
Distance Education, 33(2) pp. 135–150.
The open educational resources (OER) movement is relatively new with few higher education institutions (HEIs) publishing or using them, and even fewer using them to widen engagement or participation in HE study. Although distance teaching universities have been in the vanguard of widening opportunities for HE study, they vary in how far they are doing so. Some use this informal learning through studying OER as a bridge to formal learning; others see it as an end in itself, often as part of a wider set of lifelong learning activities. Initial experiences of some European distance teaching universities indicate that OER are fine for confident and experienced learners but most people will require other support mechanisms to achieve participation. More effort may be needed to design and present OER in ways that are suited to the learners to support their learning, including developing new ways to recognize achievements through open study.
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