"The Student Research Centre is part of the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology. The main work of the Centre is, firstly, to evaluate the Open University’s courses and learning materials, and secondly, to carry out research into all aspects of students’ experiences of learning as adult distance learners. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are used in these areas.
The aim of the Centre’s work is to improve the quality of the Open University’s teaching materials and teaching system, and to raise awareness of the effects on students of university policy decisions and of different forms of course provision.
The positive results of the surveys lead us to recommend that:
• The KAZ software should be provided for S103 students in future presentations of the course. The benefits in terms of improved keyboard skills for those who were initially less experienced appear to justify the relatively small cost to the University for licensing the software for distribution on one of the course CD-ROMs.
• Consideration should be given to sending the CD-ROM that includes the KAZ software earlier so that students have plenty of time to use it before the workload on the course builds up.
• Other units and course teams consider whether the KAZ software should be sent to students studying other entry-level courses."
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