Differentiating between distance/open education systems-parameters for comparison

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A wide range of institutions all over the world utilize various forms of distance and/or open learning. This paper suggests eight parameters for categorizing distance/open education systems: (1) target population; (2) dimensions of openness; (3) organizational structure; (4) design and development of learning materials; (5) use of advanced technology; (6) teaching/tutoring system; (7) student-support system; and (8) inter-institutional collaboration. These parameters provide criteria for comparing a broad spectrum of distance/open learning institutions, and assist in depicting the unique characteristics of each distance/open education system. The discussion is preceded by a conceptual examination of the relations and interrelations between the distance education and open learning terms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1993


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