An history of new technology at the Open University

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This page provides a (growing) account of the history of how new technologies have been used and developed within the Open University (OU) in the UK.

Please feel free to add to this history ...

2008

8 August 2008 'OU View' YouTube channel opened

OU View contains over 300 videos plus links to other OU resources such as Open Learn

February 2008 OpenLife replaces CETLment in Second Life virtual world

CETLment was replaced by OpenLife as the main OU island in Second Life virtual world. OpenLife was located adjacent to SchomeBase as they seemed to offer complimentary foci - with OpenLife being focused on 'formal OU teaching' (eg tutorials associated with OU courses) and SchomeBase continuing to be used to explore schome (the education system for the learning age).

2007

2006

December 2006 SchomeBase materialised

SchomeBase is the Schome Initiative's island in Second Life virtual world. See the SchomeBase bliki for more info

31 October 2006 Launch of eLearning Community

Established by then-PVC Paul Clark to share experiences and support informal discussion around elearning for staff at the OU. See eLC Knowledge Network pages for further info and past presentations on elearning (OU staff only). Or contact Chris Pegler (IET), Ingrid Nix (HSC) or Sarah Davies (Science).

25 October 2006 Launch of Open Learn

June 2006 OU's first island materialised in Second Life virtual world

The OU's first island in Second Life virtual world was CETLment. It was set up by Jacquie Bennett, a CETL Teaching Fellow and AL on some OU courses in Technology.

2005

November 2005 OU chooses Moodle

The OU announced that it was going to use Moodle as the basis for its own VLE.

Dougiamas, M. (2005) Open University chooses Moodle! Press release in the Moodle forums. http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=34002 (viewed 2-Oct-2008)

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

2000 ProMISES established

(Oct 2000) Funding agreed for the Project for Management of Integrated Scaleable Electronic Services (ProMISES) "to provide systems, tools and procedures that will enable a large number of course teams to develop and maintain a basic online presence to support their teaching and learning activities. In the project’s first iteration, an online presence will consist of a course homepage area, links to ROUTES, some basic CMC, and a simple online course calendar." (Remely 2000) This became the 'eDesktop' which provided a standard course website/interface for students. Until then every website could appear very differently - there was no standard design across faculties, or even within faculties. The development team were Stephen Bradley (LTS), Dave Meara (LTS), Chris Pegler (then LTS), Andrew Remely (IET), David Wardell (LTS) and David Wilson (LTS). The initial target was to roll this out over 113 courses (by 2004 there were 270+ eDesktop sites).

1999

1999 T171 The first fully online undergraduate course

'T171 You, your computer and the net' was the first fully online undergraduate course at the OU. However, this 30 point course did have printed materials, including a course guide and three set books. The 1999 presentation was a trial, with the first full presentation in 2000. The course was developed from scratch in 12 months. Martin Weller was the course team chair and Ernie Taylor was the course manager.

See Lunsford, J. (2001) 'T171: You, Your Computer and the Net' an ITLO case study. Milton Keynes: The Open University. http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/document.cfm?documentid=492 (viewed 2-Oct-2008)

1998

1998 H802 First fully online postgraduate course

First presentation of IET's H802 'Applications of IT in Distance Education' as part of its MA in Open and Distance Education programme. This was the first of the OU's web-based courses. No books and used the eBBS (electronic bulletin board system) developed in IET by Matthew Stratfold and others. Course chaired by Robin Mason (IET).

1997

1996

1995

1995 The New Technology Recruitment Initiative

The new technology recruitment initiative (NTRI) saw the appointment of 33 staff across the OU, all of whom were selected because of their expertise in the pedagogical uses of new technologies. The aim of the NTRI was to enhance the OU's use of new technologies in its own teaching.

1994

1994 PGCE start integrating FirstClass

Not sure about this PeterT 07:04, 2 October 2008 (BST)

The PGCE was the first course/programme within the OU to use FirstClass as an integral part of its 'presentations' ...

1994 Virtual Summer School trial

Human Cognition Research Laboratory hosts the Virtual Summer School trial, using First Class, CUCMe, and mobile phones.

1993

1993 The Homer CD-ROM

The Homer CD-ROM was the OU's first venture into multi-media. It was used as part of 'A295 Homer: Poetry and Society'.

See Chambers, E. & Rae, J. (1999) Evaluation of the Homer CD-ROM: Final Report. Milton Keynes: Open University. http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/getfile.cfm?documentfileid=111 (viewed 2-Oct-2008)

Homer CD-ROM main menu.jpg

1992

1991

1990

1989

First presentation of IET's H802 'Applications of IT in Distance Education' as part of its MA in Open and Distance Education programme. This was the first of the OU's web-based courses. No books and used the eBBS (electronic bulletin board system) developed in IET by Matthew Stratfold and others. Course chaired by Robin Mason (IET).

1988

1987

1986

1985

1984

1983

1982

1981

Open University launches a video loan service to students, to supplement broadcast programmes

1980

1979

1978

1977

1976

1975

1974

1973

1972

1971

The University's first four courses are launched. Students receive their home experiment kits though the post - including the award-winning McArthur Microscope - a handheld microscope adapted for the University by the designer. Adaptations included the use of moulded plastic - more economical to make and cheaper to send through the post to the students.

1970

1969 The beginning

23 July 1969 The inauguration

Other histories of the OU

The Programme on Learner Use of Media (PLUM) - which was produced within IET - provided a 'complete' history of the use of media in the OU up until about 2005.

History of the OU on the International Institute of Management LINK (viewed 2-Oct-2008)

References

Issroff, K. & Scanlon, E. (2002) Educational Technology: The influence of theory. Journal of Interactive Media in Educaiton, 2002 (6). ISSN: 1365 893X http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/2002/6/issroff-scanlon-02-6-01.html (Viewed 2-Oct-2008)

Remely, A. (2000) The ProMISES Plan - A PLUM discussion paper. PLUM No 136. Milton Keynes: Open University. http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/document.cfm?documentid=429&context=true (viewed 2-Oct-2008)