Distance Learning Material for Adult Education: The Case of the Open University of Cyprus

By Vasilia Christidou, Maria N. Gravani and Vassilia Hatzinikita.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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The paper analyses distance learning material used in the ‘Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning’ (CELL) and the ‘Applied Educational Research’ (AER) module of the Masters in Education at the Open University of Cyprus with the aim to unveil the sort of pedagogical practices promoted within the two modules. To this end, the Bernsteinian concept of framing, involving instructional rules was used. Results of the analysis reveal that the CELL module is largely oriented towards definite arrangement of instructional rules, by introducing strong framing in the educational process, while the AER module establishes a generally weak framing. Moreover, the findings disclose tensions between the principles of distance and adult education, with the former implying explicit and rather ‘close’ direction of study, and the latter advocating flexibility in adult learning.

Keywords: Pedagogical Construction, Distance Learning Material, Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning, Applied Educational Research, Open University of Cyprus

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.33-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.278MB).

Dr. Vasilia Christidou

Associate Professor, Research Committee, University of Thessaly, Volos, Thessaly, Greece

Dr. Vasilia Christidou is an Associate Professor at the Department of Preschool Education, University of Thessaly, Greece. Her current research interests concern teacher’s education, textbook analysis, science education, the promotion of Public Understanding of Science, and the process of recontextualization of scientific texts addressed to non-experts. She has coordinated and participated in a number of research projects, and has published numerous research articles and studies in journals, books, and conference proceedings. She has developed educational material for distance learning for the Hellenic Open University.

Dr. Maria N. Gravani

Lecturer in Continuing Education and Adult Education, School of Human and Social Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

Dr. Maria Gravani is Lecturer in Continuing/Adult Education at the Open University of Cyprus. She previously worked in the UK (Bristol University, University College London), in the Republic of Ireland (Trinity College), and Greece (University of Peloponnese, Hellenic Open University). Her research interests include: Continuing/Adult Education, teaching and learning in higher education, ICT in continuing and adult education, teacher’s professional development, open & distance learning. She has published in international peer-reviewed journals (Educational, Technology & Society, International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence, Teaching & Teacher Education, Learning & Instruction, Compare, Journal of In-service Education, Adult Education, Educational Review) and chapters in books, and has presented her work in international meetings and conferences.

Prof. Vassilia Hatzinikita

Dean of School of Humanities, School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, Patra, Achaia, Greece

Professor Hatzinikita Vassilia is currently Dean of School of Humanities in the Hellenic Open University (HOU), academic leader of the ‘Master in Education’ and academic coordinator of ‘Educational Research in Action’ module. Her research interests concern science teaching and learning as well as the analysis and development of educational materials. She has published a considerable number of research papers in journals, books and conference proceedings and has developed educational material for HOU. She has participated in a great number of research programs and has been member of the Board of the Greek Education Research Centre and of the Greek Teacher Training Organisation. She is National Project Manager of the PISA program of OECD and member of the PISA Governing Board for Greece.