Open learning provides flexible remote access to learning that enables people to study and achieve qualifications ‘any place, any time’. Information and communication technologies make this possible by providing online access to the digital resources and student-tutor communications needed for study.
The growth of open learning is already outstripping the growth of campus learning, but economic viability is often difficult to achieve for the full range of the curriculum. Initial costs are high and must be managed over the long term to be sure that ICT yields its two main benefits: access to education for large student numbers, and high quality support for independent learning.
This policy brief provides a model and recommendations that keep per capita costs as low as possible and learning benefits as high as possible, by fully exploiting what ICTs have to offer.