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CNED - Distances et Médiations des Savoirs - Open University (Organisation de l'évènement), Klaus-Dieter Rossade (Intervenant), Prithvi Shrestha (Intervenant), Helen Cooke (Intervenant), Carlton Wood (Intervenant), Stella Bunnag (Intervenant), Stuart Burch (Intervenant)
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©CNED - Toute réutilisation interdite sans l'accord explicite du CNED
Citer cette ressource :
Klaus-Dieter Rossade, Prithvi Shrestha, Helen Cooke, Carlton Wood, Stella Bunnag, Stuart Burch. CNED. (2022, 21 octobre). Developments in distance education policies and strategies - 02 - English , in Évolutions des politiques et stratégies de la formation à distance. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 28 novembre 2023)

Developments in distance education policies and strategies - 02 - English

Réalisation : 21 octobre 2022 - Mise en ligne : 23 août 2023
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A conference proposed and organised by Cned, DMS and The Open University.

Session chair : Prithvia SHRESTHA

Remaining ‘Open' during a crisis: managing academic continuity at The Open University, UK
Speakers :  Helen COOKE, Klaus-Dieter ROSSADE
Co-author : Helen BARTON

Pandemic-induced assessment changes at the Open University UK
Speaker : Carlton WOOD

Building online learning communities within a China-UK partnership programme
Speakers : Stella BUNNAG, Stuart BURCH


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, higher education institutions around the world faced an enormous amount of complexity and uncertainty, regardless of their mode of delivering teaching, learning and assessment activities to their students. Despite already having robust policies and processes in place for delivering such activities online, distance learning institutions around the world were far from being exempt from this disruption. Ensuring the continuity of academic quality and decision-making during a crisis affects all institutions and needs to be managed carefully in order to maintain the expected quality of academic standards and student experience, whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of students and staff. In this paper, we reflect on a model for ensuring academic continuity during crisis situations in universities, developed by Regehr and McCahan (2020), to evaluate the effectiveness of The Open University’s approach to managing academic continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic and consider longer-term implications for the institution. We also propose a simplified and modified version of the Regehr and McCahan model, taking into account the cyclical and ongoing nature of our considerations and the impact that prolonged uncertainty can have on applying such a model in practice.

Here the timeline of the various examination assessment changes deployed by the OUUK during the period 2020-22 is shown. The main difference in this period being the introduction of online exams instead of the previously deployed face-to-face exams. We show a positive impact on student performance including increases in module pass rate and also module completion rate. We also report improvement in pass and completion rates for students with protected characteristics namely those with low prior educational qualifications, those with mental health issues, those from relatively poor backgrounds, Asian and Black students. We also show that there is a reduction in awarding gap between; black/white students, between those with mental health conditions and students with no reported mental health conditions and between students from the least affluent compared to the most affluent areas. A discussion of how the temporary changes could be made more permanent is surfaced, this being as a result of student demand but also as a result of demonstrable impact.

This paper outlines the strategies used within an online foundation study skills course designed to build learning communities across borders in a UKChina Transnational Education (TNE) programme. It presents the fundamental aspects of “community” which include: bonding, inclusion, validation, student-centred learning, engagement and a sense of belonging. These are demonstrated through a case study of an ongoing partnership between Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the Communication University of China (CUC). This collaboration has embedded “community” principles in three key areas: dynamic use of social media, specifically WeChat; an active social programme; and extensive online community-building through classwork activities. These are explained and evaluated using feedback from student interviews and survey responses. The transferrable findings help identify the core principles needed to build successful learning communities.

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