Developing Content with Developing Countries

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Mason, Robin
Rennie, Frank
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF5 Sub-theme: Livelihoods // We have been successful in obtaining a grant from the European Union Asia-Link Programme to work with four Asian Universities on the capacity development of their staff in the area of the design and support of distributed learning resources. A key instrument in this capacitybuilding training is the collaborative development of course content using Open Content and Open Source applications. The four countries are: the Maldives, Cambodia, Bhutan and Nepal, and all four of the universities in the partnership have distributed campuses. The three European partners in the project are all universities that are heavily involved in distance teaching: the British Open University (the lead partner), the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute (UHI) and Anadolu University in Turkey. The seven partner universities practice different forms and levels of distance or distributed education, and are at very different stages in the evolution of their design, delivery, and student support mechanisms. UHI is distributed in the sense that it is composed of fifteen academic partners – colleges and research centres spread over a very wide geographical area of northern Scotland. Various combinations of technologies are used to deliver courses to students so that they do not need to re-locate in order to access higher education. Furthermore, staff can provide tuition to learners beyond the confines of the ‘home’ campus. The British Open University can be called distributed in the sense that it too uses technology to deliver courses to students spread over the whole UK and beyond. Online and face-to-face tutorials are held to support students in their study of either print-based or web-based course materials. Anadolu is the largest distance teaching university in Turkey with over 1 million 200 undergraduates! // Paper ID 187