Managing Post-Secondary Open Learning Beyond Traditional Boundaries into the New Millennium

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF1 // Post-secondary institutions in Canada and elsewhere must rethink and restructure to meet the challenges of a new economic era in which growth will be increasingly based on knowledge production and workers will have to undertake continuous learning to keep pace. In order to expand education and training opportunities to a more diverse population of students, institutional resources will have to be re-deployed. Daniel (1996) has made a number of key observations about issues that arise as a consequence of this change in the student body. He states that fortunately, new interactive technologies and digital media provide options for instruction that can integrate the traditions of distance and place-based learning. The task now is to build integrated instructional systems that ensure that the values of excellence embedded in traditional instructional practices from both distance and place-based modes will be transplanted into the newer, technology-based media for teaching. Conversely, it is important to provide an opportunity for traditional instruction to benefit from the depth of inquiry that is currently being invested in online teaching and learning. // Nowhere is the opportunity to develop new techniques greater than in dual-mode institutions where management of technology strategy must now be designed to embrace the institution as a whole. Institutions that will not only survive but flourish in the new environment are likely to be those that do not move too fast to adopt what may turnout to be expensive, unsustainable cutting-edge technologies or attempt to adapt by offering generic new programs of questionable quality that have been developed by outsiders. In fact, the new leaders are likely to be the established dual-mode institutions whose history of success has been firmly established by the fact that they got their management model right from the beginning. // While this paper acknowledges the achievements of unimodal distance institutions, it focuses on Canadian dual mode institutions and their management models. //

Caribbean and Americas