Forces for Change: The Evolution of the Teaching and Learning Process in an Established Open and Distance Education University
PCF3 // The Open University of Hong Kong was established in 1989 by the Hong Kong Government as a self-financing non-profit making institution to “provide opportunities for higher education by means of open learning”. Since that time over 27,000 people have graduated from the University and some 140,000 students have taken advantage of our alternative learning opportunities. Currently around 22,000 learners are pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification and an additional 18,000 students are enrolled on various short courses and professional programmes through the Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education (LiPACE) which is one of the five academic units of the University. // The OUHK’s original course development and delivery models were largely based on those used in existing distance tertiary institutions (most notably the UK Open University). This led the University to adopt a “one size fits all” or so called Industrial model for all of its courses irrespective of course level or student numbers. Courses are largely text based supported by optional face-to-face tutorials. // Since the University’s establishment, the course development and delivery processes have remained largely unchanged. A need to achieve greater efficiencies and cost effectiveness, without loss of quality, combined with a wish to tap into new markets and take advantage of the rapid development of new technologies has prompted the university to re-examine its practices to see whether these technologies can be effectively utilized in the course development and delivery process.