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A study of the quality of open learning materials supplied to the engineering industry

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Describes how, in August 1989, the Engineering Industry Training Board (EITB) were commissioned by the Training Agency to evaluate the quality of open learning materials supplied to the industry. In parallel, the EITB entered into a collaborative research agreement with Aston University. A range of 67 products, in eight subject areas and from 39 suppliers, were evaluated. The majority (48) were either text-based (32) or video-led (16). The remainder (19) were audio, computer-based training (CBT) and interactive video (IV) packages. Details three main findings emerging from the research. First, that price alone is not a predictor of quality. Second, good quality products exist across the entire price range including some at less than £50. Third, text-based materials form the majority of the good quality products (24 out of 34), followed by video-led (5) and interactive video (4). Results from the small sample of audio products (5) suggest that this may not be an effective medium for open learning.
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Keywords: Engineering; Evaluation; Materials; Open learning; Product quality; Quality; Training; Value-for-money audit

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1995

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