Part 3 Teaching methods and technologies

3.1 Introduction

By Nigel Gibson [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

The Open University’s mission is based upon open entry; that means that for most degrees there are no formal academic requirements. This means that tutors will be working with students who might not have the academic background needed to enrol at other universities. Many of our students are in work.

In STEM subjects they might be working in the field in which they are studying, so a tutor might be working with students who have a great deal of applied experience of the area being studied, perhaps more than the tutor. This means that the tutor’s “voice” might be different to that of a lecturer at a brick university. Less “Sage on the stage” and more “Guide on the side”

The OU also has a larger proportion of students with disabilities than other universities, and tutors work with people for whom reasonable adjustments must be made in order that they can make best use of your support and the academic materials. These factors are recognised by the teaching materials and methods used and add to the challenges and fascination of working with our students.

This section introduces the OU’s teaching methods and some of the technologies employed to support teaching and learning. Specifically, that is module websites, forums and tutorials, and correspondence tuition. It also discusses how the OU’s modules are designed and delivered, and the wider student support that is available.

3.2 Teaching materials and assessments