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The 1980s

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Clip: Computing in 1983
Duration: 00:02:05
Date: 1983

Computing had been included within OU courses from the first OU Maths and Technology courses in the 1970s. The Student Computing Service started in 1970 as a sub unit of the Faculty of Mathematics to serve the M100 course.

Rapid technological advances continued into the 1980s. Additional courses were offered such as the Micros in Schools course packs as well as courses designed for managers and engineers. The clip on this page, taken from Open Forum 83 (1983), looks at some of the new computing courses and their target groups. Watch the full programme of Open Forum 42: Tomorrows OU World (1979) to see some of the ways in which OU staff were developing new teaching methods using emerging technology.

Another way in which new technology was having an impact on the University was in the form of videocassettes. With the availability of home video cassette machines, OU broadcasts could be sent to students on tape, and even recorded at home from the television.

By the late 1980s the University required students to have direct access to a computer at home for a small selection of courses. One of the courses, DT200 Introduction to information technology used computer mediated communication for the first time.

Further information about the development of computing at the OU can be found on the wiki A history of new technology at The Open University

The 1980s (page 2 of 4)