Networked Organization of Distance Education
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The imbalance between established providers and new roles in ODL requires a sound pedagogical concept within a generally feasible organisationall framework.
The NODE project is based on the assumption that academic education will quickly depart from the current organisational model where domain knowledge, content authoring, teaching/delivery and 'Point of Learning' (PoL) are concentrated in one institution. More specialized roles will develop within flexible frameworks of networked organisations. We expect a three-tiered system with (1) a provider/authoring level, (3) decentralised 'learning centres' (PoL), and (2) education gateways = access/management nodes as a middle tier providing significant added value: brokering offers from various providers, quick feedback and tutoring, local certification/accreditation, evaluation and validation, localization and pedagogical guidance. Overall, middle-tier 'flexible learning gateways' will provide a 'protocol layer' facilitating the operation of many local PoLs!
This imbalance between established providers and new roles in ODL requires a sound pedagogical concept within a generally feasible organisational and communicational framework. The prototypical implementation and evaluation of key components of this framework in case studies is the major focus of the present project.
The innovative yet pragmatic approach of this project may have catalytic and stimulating reverberations in the academic learning community, giving the lead back to academic institutions repositioning themselves as educational gateways and clearly defining their pivotal roles in the value chain of knowledge acquisition.