A test of distance-learning technology: An assessment study of the Open University Russia Project

Elazar Leshem, Nitza Davidovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technological developments have created a revolution that challenges teaching in general, and in higher education in particular calls for a re-assessment of traditional teaching methodologies and their effectiveness. The article is an empirical study of the outcomes of a distance-learning project conducted by the Open University of Israel in states of the former Soviet Union (FSU). In 2008, over 5000 students from 11 FSU states participated in the Open University Russia Project. This study explores the characteristics of the participants, their reasons for participation and their expectations, their satisfaction with the project, the project's contribution to participants' knowledge and its impact on their ties to Judaism and Israel, their intention to emigrate to Israel and their desire to attend a higher education institution in Israel. Findings show that the distance-learning courses developed by the Open University and the learning method developed by the Open University made a significant contribution to the target population's knowledge in topics related to Judaism, the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and enhanced their desire to study in higher education programmes in Israel and to emigrate to Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
JournalEast European Jewish Affairs
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • FSU
  • Israel
  • Zionism
  • academe
  • higher education
  • online learning
  • pedagogy
  • teaching technologies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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