What are we going to do about the Open University?

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Re: What are we going to do about the Open University?

Postby Teiana on Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:34 pm

yes absolutely i have no idea why they don't outsource the publishing. there's too many 'managers' in the system getting hung up on the 'brand', and not enough people just trying to get the real job done!.

andrea said:
I agree that you can easily print things with a few quid nowadays -- but if you actually look at the costs of the printing process at the OU, the bulk of it goes into administration, rather than the " manufacture " of the product. So why can't we provide all of our material online and then recommend several websites like the one you have identified, to students who want to study in print -- using Lulu, for example, would cost less than £8 for a ringbound 100 page document and less than £3 if a whole bunch of people got together. Surely this is a win-win situation all round?
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: What are we going to do about the Open University?

Postby Andrea on Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:57 am

Teiana wrote:yes absolutely i have no idea why they don't outsource the publishing. there's too many 'managers' in the system getting hung up on the 'brand', and not enough people just trying to get the real job done!.


I always wondered whether you had other sources of information from within the OU -- too much of a coincidence to have somebody else with the same rare surname! I guess the above confirms my suspicions :mrgreen:
esse sequitur operari
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Re: What are we going to do about the Open University?

Postby jim_lewis1 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:46 am

I think the issue about the digital apartheid is a very real concern, not just in relation to how Open the OU is, but in many other areas.

Essentially people who are already disadvantaged suffer further as they are unable to easily access quick and cheap access to services, goods, etc.

The Government has had to be very mindful of this as it makes services such as paying road tax etc available online, and used to encourage people to do so online by offering a discount, (as it was cheaper for the government to do it this way), but this essentially meant people without online access paid a higher price.

I am in two minds about the OUs approach here.

I can see the argument about flexibility of course material changes without print based resources, but I still enjoy reading a hardcopy and would be unhappy to lose this.

I did alternate between reading electronic copy at times though and was grateful for this flexibility.

Perhaps this is a generational thing, maybe younger people don't have the same sense of anticipation of opening a new book or pleasure of being able to read it anywhere, or even to easily physiclally make notes in it.

And the argument about environmental impact of paper use rather overlooks the necessity to power whatever device you're reading electronic copy on.

Aside from course materials, I agree that more effort should be made to utilise ITC resources to enrich the learning experience.

Given that one of the main criticisms or disadvantages of non-attendance based learning is that it can be a fairly lonely way to study, online meetings and discussions offer a fantastic way to bring people together in ways inconceivable even until recently.
Current OU study: A230
Studying towards: BA Humanities
Past OU Study: MBA (Tech Man), BEng/MEng (incl T214, T306) PG Dip EDM (incl T863, TU812), AA100, AXR272
(OU Systems courses)
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