About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4071-4078
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

COMPARING OPEN UNIVERSITIES: FRAMEWORK AND APPLICATION TO THE CASES OF CATALONIA AND CYPRUS UNIVERSITIES

P. Zygoura1, D. Vlachopoulos2

1Open University of Cyprus (CYPRUS)
2European University Cyprus (CYPRUS)
Distance learning has been constantly gaining recognition as an alternative, credible method for delivering Higher Education. In the recent years, numerous institutions worldwide either offer distance learning programs as part of their academic activities, or are solely devoted towards providing distance education to interested individuals. Furthermore, modern technological advancements, and particularly the expansion of the Internet, facilitate the concept of time and space separation between instructors and learners, and thus make distance learning an attractive way for prospective university students. More importantly though, distance learning has been at the core of the open learning concept by allowing access to teaching and learning activities without the need of the participants’ presence. By principle, open education requires removal of barriers to entry and access to educational services for any interested party and distance learning methods are a prerequisite for this to be achieved.
Worldwide, institutions have adopted different approaches for providing distance and open learning programs; in most cases, institutions have developed their own tailor-made educational model: they adopted or set new distance learning techniques and methods and (based on the institution’s scope and orientation) attempted to follow in a larger or lesser extent the ideal of open learning. In this context, this paper focuses on developing a framework and criteria for investigating the compatibility of universities devoted to offering solely open and distance learning studies with the principles of open education; this framework is then used for qualitatively evaluating the level of compliance for two typical open universities: the Open University of Catalonia and the Open University of Cyprus.
The proposed framework is set up by two levels, which are consistent with the basic principles of open education: (a) barriers to entering a course and (b) technological, institutional and organizational capabilities of institutions, which allow a distance learning experience to instructors and learners. Within each level, different criteria are set up with focus on the open and distance learning character of the institutions. The framework is applied to the two aforementioned institutions and the level in which they comply with open education is evaluated. Findings indicate that the Open University of Catalonia retains fewer barriers in entering its programs, offers a variety of courses and degrees (most of which are multi-lingual) and provides advanced technological tools for distance learning. On the other hand, the Open University of Cyprus addresses to a considerably smaller audience and, as a result, keeps some connection to traditional education practices by partially offering blended programs, with a limited number of activities “in presentia”.
@InProceedings{ZYGOURA2013COM,
author = {Zygoura, P. and Vlachopoulos, D.},
title = {COMPARING OPEN UNIVERSITIES: FRAMEWORK AND APPLICATION TO THE CASES OF CATALONIA AND CYPRUS UNIVERSITIES},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {4071-4078}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Zygoura AU - D. Vlachopoulos
TI - COMPARING OPEN UNIVERSITIES: FRAMEWORK AND APPLICATION TO THE CASES OF CATALONIA AND CYPRUS UNIVERSITIES
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 4071
EP - 4078
ER -
P. Zygoura, D. Vlachopoulos (2013) COMPARING OPEN UNIVERSITIES: FRAMEWORK AND APPLICATION TO THE CASES OF CATALONIA AND CYPRUS UNIVERSITIES, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 4071-4078.
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