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Empowerment and Reduction of Isolation of Housebound Disabled Students: A Computer‐Mediated Communications Project at the UK Open University

Gordon Dyer (Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Technology, Open University, East Anglian Region, 12 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PF, United Kingdom.)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 February 1991

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe some recent experiences at the United Kingdom Open University (UKOU) in setting up computer‐mediated communication (CMC) support for housebound disabled or otherwise isolated students. The driving force behind this experiment was the important role that CMC has as an educational tool; it empowers and reduces isolation of remote learners. This feature of CMC has received little attention, for, hitherto its application within education has been linked mainly to its use as a teaching aid. Educators concerned with the issue of widening access to higher education may be interested in learning about the OU project and its outcomes. The note first describes the context of this application, by reviewing the multimedia approach to home‐based, parttime, distance education used by the UKOU. The key lessons learned from the use of CMC as an educational tool since 1988 are summarized. The current housebound student project is then described, both in terms of the design stages through to implementation of network activity and interim evaluation and review. Finally, some key points for others interested in implementing a similar scheme are summarized.

Citation

Dyer, G. (1991), "Empowerment and Reduction of Isolation of Housebound Disabled Students: A Computer‐Mediated Communications Project at the UK Open University", Internet Research, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 23-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb047245

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited