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Module 5 - Learning Environments

Don't assume that all learning has to take place in the classroom. 'Open learning' and 'distance learning' widen the choice of learning environments and, of course, we all learn as we go about our daily lives. Choices of learning environment include:

  • At home,
  • The work place,
  • Open Learning Centres,
  • Meeting rooms,
  • Dedicated training rooms,
  • Hotels,
  • Sports centres and social clubs,
  • Residential training centres.

At Home

Home learning is suitable for programmed learning; it is inexpensive and many people would welcome the opportunity to learn at home.

The disadvantages are:

  • possible distraction by home pressures,
  • isolation from tutors,
  • lack of specialized equipment.

When we think of home learning we often think it is limited to text-based training. Home learning can be more creative if ways are found to overcome the disadvantages of isolation and access to equipment.

Isolation can be overcome by using the telephone email or the Internet. Messages can be sent between tutor and students by e-mail, instant messaging or video links. Access to learning materials all over the world can be obtained via the Internet. Videos can be broadcast from existing television stations, either during the day for large audiences or as a scrambled signal during the night for small specialist audiences. The night-time programmes can be automatically recorded by anyone who has a suitable decoder. A broadband connection enables videos to be streamed or downloaded over the Internet.

The Open University sends laboratory kits to its science and technology students by road. It is also possible for service engineers to learn how to repair computer equipment on their kitchen tables!


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