'Learning matters' - adjusting the media mix for academic advantage
Current trends in higher education are towards a greater emphasis on resource-based learning, often in a 'distance learning' or 'supported self-study' mode. Traditionally this is how Open University (OU) courses are transacted. Within the OU the typical model is for courses to go through a 'production' phase followed by a 'delivery' phase. During the production phase, which often lasts three years, the course materials are developed and tested. Once the course materials are completed, a course will be presented to one cohort of students each year for around five years. This model of production followed by delivery mitigates against changes to course materials once the production phase is completed. This means that course teams have to be totally confident about the educational effectiveness of their materials before the production phase ends.