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A step in the dark

Adrian Kirkwood talking at CALRG 09

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
18 May 2009

A step in the dark –evaluating the Open University home computing project

A reflective talklooking at the OU’s early moves into providing more IT provision

Home computing policy1988

Provided computingfacilities as early as early 1970s

Many more courses wanted to include student use of a computer

Desktop computers justentered mass market

HCP (Home Computing Policy)students now required to arrange own access to PC

Home computer – "an MS Dosmachine with 512K disk storage mouse and capable of supporting graphics"

Initial courses – M205Fundamentals of computing; DT200 An introduction to IT, M353 ComputationalMathematics

Evaluation team –interested in the longer-term educational and social issues associated with theintroduction of home computing


  • What are the implications of home computing for course design?
  • Different ways in which computers could enhance learning, teaching and support?
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Access and equal opportunities – gender and age implications
  • The social and physical context
  • Institutional change


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