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Openness Dimension of Distance Teaching Universities

Openness Dimension of Distance Teaching Universities
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Author(s): Sarah Guri-Rosenblit (The Open University of Israel, Israel)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch228


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Distance teaching universities are often referred to as “open universities”, even if they are not called an “open university”. The use of the term “open” supposes that education and learning have traditionally been closed, by various barriers, such as entrance requirements, time constraints, geographical location. and so forth, and assumes that an open learning institution purports to overcome these barriers or part of them. “Distance education” and “open learning” are used synonymously by some scholars and practitioners. Many scholars attribute similar characteristics to both of them, such characteristics as extending access to various educational frameworks, employing flexible schedules, enhancing self-directed learning. Others distinguish between them. The fact is that the adjective “open” is qualitative, value loaded, and highly relative. Its use is confusing unless the context indicates the dimensions of openness that relate to it. Education can be open or closed in many different ways and “open learning” can take place either in a classical university or in a distance teaching institution.

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