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Open University

Enhancing adult distance teaching and learning in higher education: the case of the Open University



The research project aims at shedding light on the internal dynamics of learners’ and tutors’ adult professional learning, its context and its occasions, in the course of on an undergraduate and postgraduate distance learning programme of studies run by the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) and the Hellenic Open University (HOU). The study aspires to present an illuminative view of the ‘fine‐grained’ processes that are at work during the organisation and the delivery of the courses, in the programmes under investigation, and tries to capture the ways in which different forms of learning and knowledge interact. The final purpose, in an applied sense, is to inform the organisation, design, implementation and further development of distance‐learning courses in higher education, and contribute towards their future reorganisation.

Understanding the internal dynamics of adult distance learning can only lead to the design of more reliable, powerful and effective learning programmes and procedures. The proposed study aspires to illuminate some of the above issues by giving voice to the experiences and perceptions of both learners’ and tutors’ as they embark (albeit from different standpoints) on an undergraduate and postgraduate programme of studies at the two case study universities, the OUC and the HOU. The main activities which will be implemented in this project concern both theoretical and empirical investigation. The relevant literature will be reviewed and drawing on this the interview protocols will be designed and data will be collected and analysed. Particularly, eight tutors and sixteen learners (four tutors and eight learners, respectively, from each of the two case study universities explored) will be the key unit of analysis.


Produkte (geplante Outcomes)

The results of the project will be disseminated through academic journals and conferences as well as through the production of a context‐specific booklet for the organisation, design, implementation and further development of distance learning courses in higher education which will be handed to the OUC, the HOU and the Ministries of Education in Cyprus and Greece, thus providing a unique contribution to knowledge. Hence, the project will inform Higher Education research, policy and practice in both countries by feeding into the future shaping of adult distance learning programmes in Higher Education. It will also make an original contribution to our understanding of the enhancement of adult distance teaching and learning in higher education. In a broader sense, the research will generate new insights into a particular phase of learning within the academy in the context of a continuum of lifelong learning.



2010 bis 2010



Open University of Cyprus , Hellenic Open University, Greece; University of Kent, UK;University of Bielefeld





Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jütte




Open University Cyprus