Open and distance learning

Open and distance learning (in French, FOAD) is an education method which gives learners the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills through information and instruction provided from a geographical distance. It has three main advantages:

  • Students can begin a training at any time.
  • They can train themselves according to their personal availability and constraints.
  • Time and place constraints do not apply anymore.

Open and distance learning uses a variety of methods and media, among which:

  • delivery and return of lessons and exercises by postal mail;
  • audio and video tapes;
  • videoconferencing;
  • conferences aired on television and radio;
  • e-learning platforms with advanced features: chat, forums, tests, polls, calendar, document storage, etc.

Teaching organization

Each training is divided into credit units:

  • Each credit unit is described as chapters and sessions with objectives, an agenda, homework, exercises, assessment tests, seminars and tutorials, ...
  • There are an identified teacher and tutor for each credit unit.
  • Meetings, whether in-real-life or virtual, may be programmed.

Assessment organization

Most generally, the assessement comprises continuous assessment and a final exam at once:

  • The continuous assessment often consists of homework or dissertations to be returned within a period of time.
  • The final exam takes place in a center close to the student, in limited time and under the control of  examiners.

Provision of distance learning at the University of Rennes 1

The SFC, the University department dedicated to continuing education, has a commitment to develop distance learning through the Internet. Thirteen curricula are already available and several other projects are currently being developped: