Investigating the digital divide of the Open University distance learner in a prison environment

Published: Nov 2007

Anne Pike

The aim of this project was to determine what influenced students to embark on an OU course or programme, and to understand how technology, or the lack of it, was affecting their choice of study and future decisions. Who had influenced their decisions and what factors had encouraged or inhibited progress along their learning journey? What were the key motivators or de-motivators? What effect did their learning have on their prison life and visa-versa? What was the effect of the developing on-line initiatives and what were the major barriers to learning? An additional aim was to investigate the experiences of the OU student on release from prison and an additional longitudinal study is planned.