Collaboration in Distance Education: International Case Studies

By Louise Moran; Ian Mugridge | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

The way of the future?

Transfer credit and credit banking

Jane Brindley and Ross Paul

In the computer industry, despite decades of promises, consumers are still frustrated by the plethora of operating systems and the seeming inability of all these different systems to 'talk' to each other. While universal standards have been 'just around the corner' for a number of years now, individual corporations still have a vested interest in designing systems that will only operate effectively with their own products-and the harried consumer pays the price for this.

Is it much different for students seeking credit for a university degree? Students trying to combine courses from more than one institution toward attainment of a degree or other formal credential are constantly frustrated by severe restrictions on transfer credit and equivalencies, credit and marking systems that differ widely among institutions, prerequisite courses that ignore the student's own background and experience, and residency requirements that usually make degrees available only to those who have completed at least two years in the home institution.

Adult students, in particular, find these restrictions frustrating and out of touch with the reality of their lives. Many adult students bring with them credits earned at one or more institutions and a clear idea of what knowledge and skills they would like to gain. Restrictive degree requirements and transfer-credit policies that prevent them from progressing quickly toward their chosen goals often discourage them from participating in post-secondary studies.

At one time, restrictions on transfer credit were not of concern to most students. To be a university student was to be a member of a privileged élite. Students chose their universities for social as well as academic reasons and identified themselves with a particular institution through social and athletic activities. They attended

-83-

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Collaboration in Distance Education: International Case Studies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Chapter 1 - Collaboration in Distance Education 1
  • Chapter 2 - Institutional Cultures and Their Impact 12
  • Chapter 3 - Constructing a Master of Distance Education Programme 37
  • Chapter 4 - Creating Self-Learning Materials for Off-Campus Studies 64
  • Chapter 5 - The Way of the Future? 83
  • Chapter 6 - The Toowoomba Accord 97
  • Chapter 7 - The Rise and Fall of a Consortium 123
  • Chapter 8 - The Contact North Project 132
  • Chapter 9 151
  • References 165
  • Index 172
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