The Convergence of Distance and Conventional Education
Patterns of Flexibility for the Individual Learner
Edited by Roger Mills, Alan Tait
Routledge – 1999 – 208 pages
This volume of essays from leading British, North American and Australasian contributors looks at the issues of the convergence of distance and conventional education. The term 'convergence' refers to the breaking down of barriers between open and distance learning and conventional institutions, and the creation of more and more institutions working across a range of modes. Such convergence has been driven by a number of factors, including the new technologies for teaching and learning, the impact of lifelong learning policies, the entry of larger than ever numbers of adult part-time students into tertiary education, and the demands of both employers and individuals for professional and work-related education throughout their working lives.
The fourteen chapters engage critically with a range of aspects of convergence, including:
* how well is open and distance learning carried out by conventional institutions for which it may continue for a lengthy period to be seen as of secondary importance?
* to what extent will open and distance learning be more effectively carried out by conventional institutions able to offer a variety of modes to a wide range of learners?
* how well will the variety of learners be served by systems that are converging?
* what are the managerial issues at institutional level where converging systems are being developed?