Welcome at the Unit for Open Distance Learning
The Unit for Open Distance Learning was established in 2012 with the vision to provide, through open distance learning, access to increasing numbers of students, to quality education programmes, by means of ongoing effective support and appropriate technology.
What is open distance learning?
Open distance learning refers to a delivery mode and teaching and learning approach that focuses on increased access to education and training where barriers caused by time, place and pace of learning are eliminated. Students can register at any time for an open distance learning qualification, but they have a prescribed minimum and maximum time during which to complete their qualification, utilising a specific number of assessment opportunities.
The Unit for Open Distance Learning is situated on the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University. Currently the Unit provides service to approximately 30 000 students, mainly from the Faculty of Education Sciences (teachers) but also to smaller number of students from Health Sciences (Nursing), Arts and Theology. Numerous other programmes will be offered through distance learning in the near future such as BSc in IT, BBA and post graduate diplomas in Management and Labour Law.
How is classes presented in open distance learning?
Contact classes for students by lecturers/facilitators or through interactive whiteboard sessions are currently presented at 65 study centres in South Africa and Namibia. The organisational structure of the Unit comprises of the following sections: Operations and Administration: Study Centres: E-learning; Projects and Tender Management; Quality Management and Finances. Liaison with faculties happens through academic managers appointed for the Unit.
What does the future hold for open distance learning?
The Unit for Open Distance Learning is in the process of establishing cooperation with the following faculties: Economic and Management Sciences, Natural Sciences and Law, in order to develop more ODL programmes for delivery from 2018 onwards. The Unit for Open Distance Learning also make use of administrative collaborators such as the Open Learning Group, FET Colleges and the Business School of Excellence in Namibia so as to provide optimal administrative services to all ODL students at the NWU
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Updated 01/27/14 by Jacques Pienaar