The Open University of Cyprus (OUC) and the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), co-organized a Staff Support Event on 9-10 March 2023, with the aim of building the capacity of conventional and distance teaching universities in open and distance education, and exchanging ideas, know-how and best practices between the participating institutions. Sixteen participants from EADTU and four of its member Universities [Uninettuno, Open Universiteit Netherlands, Bifröst University, Open University of Catalonia (UOC)] participated with physical presence in the event that was hosted at the OUC premises in Nicosia/Cyprus, while colleagues from UNED, Jyväskylä University and Universidade Aberta and other participating universities contributed online.
The Staff Support Event included presentations delivered by staff members of the Open University of Cyprus (Academic Affairs and Student Welfare Services, Industry Liaison Office, Laboratory of Educational Material and Methodology, and the OUC Rectorate), as well as invited inputs from face-to-face and online participants. The training focused on topics such as: Online Assessment, Designing Learning Experiences, Instructional design, Collaborative virtual learning, Chat GPT, Applied Gamification Techniques for Distance Learning, Digital campuses and learning environments, Links with the Industry, Student support: from application to enrolment and to graduation, and Communication strategies.
Undoubtedly, open and distance education (ODE) is the new “hype” not only after covid-19, but also because of the ever growing need for flexible and lifelong learning. EADTU and its member universities are working closely to promote ODE, to exchange best practices and to overcome barriers that conventional and distance teaching universities are encountering, in order to provide a quality online education. The organization of the successful Staff Support Event co-hosted by the Open University of Cyprus and EADTU significantly contributes to the development of new approaches and broadens the horizons of cooperation and communication between European universities.