This week’s #LTHEChat will be exploring Distance Learning with our guest, Simon Horrocks. Twitter is an interesting sphere to explore this in, being a (relatively) new mode of communication and space for learning. When I was studying with the Open University a few years ago, the course I completed was delivered entirely online, and was in fact studying distance and online education (an approach I found delightfully post modern and at times couldn’t work out if exercises had been left deliberately obtuse to allow us to experience some of the down falls of distance learning).
The course was delivered primarily through moodle, with forums and the occasional webinar. It was in this space however that I was introduced to Twitter for the first time. Twitter quickly became our student “hangout”, and fulfilled some of the missing coffee chats and post lecture conversations (and moans) that felt stifled in the “official” communications channels of this course. It was through Twitter that I felt we developed as a community of learners…so it is interesting to me now, six years on, to once again be discussing distance learning on Twitter, with my now extended community of peers. See you tomorrow!
Simon Horrocks is Assistant Director (Development, Learning and Teaching) at the Open University in Wales. He is responsible for the support provided to the OU students in Wales and also the University’s postgraduate education students who are distributed around the world.
Simon is @OUCymru’s lead for engagement on student experience matters with the Welsh Government, HEFCW and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
In a past life, Simon was an academic in Film and Media Studies, specialising in South-East Asian cinema and popular music culture.
Distance learning is not a new phenomenon but it has developed rapidly in the age of the Internet. More and more universities are exploring the opportunities that distance learning presents for reaching a wider range of students in the UK and internationally but this poses a number of questions, not least how pedagogy needs to be adapted to support a distributed…
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