Sunday, December 06, 2009

Oxford University Online Courses

Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education appears to provide the equivalent of the Cambridge University Online Courses. There are short introductory courses of 10-weeks for undergraduates, advanced diploma and postgraduate courses, as well as specalised professional development courses. An example of the undergaduate program is the one year Advanced Diploma in Data and Systems Analysis. One interesting professional development course offered is in Effective Online Tutoring (a problem with providing online edcuation is where to get trained tutors and one solution is to use the system itself to tran them).

Unlike Cambridge, Oxford provides an online demonstration of how their courses are presented. Oxford uses the same Australian developed Moodle Learning Management System, as I have used for developing courses at the Australian National University and the Australian Computer Society. They use the same structure of giving the student a summary of a topic, have them do some further reading and then report what they have found and discuss it in a forum online.

One limitation with the Oxford courses is that while the University of Oxford offers short undergraduate and postgraduate coruses, it does not offer undergraduate degrees or MBAs via distance or online learning. Perhaps this limitation will disappear over time, as the University gains experience and confidence in online education.

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