Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder


  • Judith Calder



Best practice can be defined as that combination of structure, educational technology and content of a learning opportunity, which, in certain contexts and for particular groups of learners, is most likely to achieve the purposes of the main stakeholders. However, the rate of change of technological, political, economic, social and cultural contexts suggests that best practice may become a redundant concept, in that what is judged as best one day may not be so judged the next. This article considers what some significant contributions to the literature on open and distance learning practice have to say about the development and provision of best practice and about the place of critical reflection by stakeholders. It also considers the challenges facing the development of best practice presented by change, concluding with the identification of the most significant areas of development yet to be made.

Author Biography

Judith Calder

Dr. Judith Calder is Head of the Open and Distance Education for Lifelong Learning Research Group and Senior Lecturer in Research Methods in the Institute of Educational Technology at the UK Open University. She has written extensively on evaluation in open and distance education, and on provision for non-traditional learners. Part of this paper draws on material presented at the Specialist Workshop on Institutional Research in Open and Distance Learning, organised by the Centre for Research in Distance and Adult Learning, Open University of Hong Kong 1999, under the title The role and significance of research in open and distance education



How to Cite

Calder, J. (2000). Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 1(1).



Research Articles