The present-day business community calls for digital-savvy, problem-solving graduates. Today’s digital generation of learners and busy working professionals desire flexibility, convenience and real-world relevance. Business schools have had to adapt to meet these needs. GBSN member, The Open University is dedicated to offering a flexible higher education, accessible to students anywhere in the world. Since its beginnings over forty years ago, The OU has pioneered distance learning – and now its pioneering all over again with use of digital technology.
Each year the Faculty of Business and Law at The Open University Business School in the United Kingdom makes available a series of International Fellowships to support faculty from educational institutions in other countries to visit and collaborate with Open University faculty. The Faculty of Business and Law dedicates at least two fellowships to supporting faculty from the GBSN network to visit the institution for a period of 3 to 6 weeks to work and learn about the Open University approach to distance and online learning.
This year, The Open University Business School selected Ainura Kaldarova from Narxoz University in Kazakstahn, and John Olukuru from Strathmore Business School in Kenya as this year’s GBSN Faculty Fellows. The two professors traveled to Milton Keyes for 5 weeks in May and June 2019 to learn about the Open University approach to online learning.
The University that Comes to You
The OU takes a personalized approach to online learning, which makes learning with OU anything but distant. OU calls its method ‘open, supported learning’. In recent years, The OU has taken flexibility to a new level by combining its experience of distance learning with the very latest technology. From downloading course materials on a mobile phone to drafting assignments on an iPad, its studies are more portable, accessible and flexible than ever before.
A particular feature of the OU pedagogic approach is a practice-based focus for learning which uses students working context as a resource for learning and a context in which learning can be applied. The OU pays particular attention to learning design and invests significantly in the creation of learning materials. Students are supported in small groups at a ratio of 16 to 20 students per tutor.
The GBSN faculty fellows worked with OUBS to create online learning materials. During their visit, John and Ainura joined a panel discussion with their sponsor Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy and Senior Lecturer in Finance, Martin Upton, for a global perspective on financial capability. Watch the video below.
The GBSN faculty fellows reflected on their experience at The Open University through the below blogs.