Educational Methodology and Organisation of Studies
Open University of Cyprus is a dedicated open and distance learning University. Its educational technology, in combination with modern teaching and learning methods supported by multi-format educational materials, respond to the diverse needs of its students, allowing them to study wherever and whenever they wish, using any digital platform. Accordingly, OUC’s distance education and blended learning methodology differs from conventional classroom-based education, mainly because it allows students to complete their studies and obtain their degree, breaking down the rigid barriers of traditional education, without physically attending scheduled lectures, and – in case students are already employed – without disrupting work routines or leaving their workplace.
eLearningPlatform and academic support
The University’s main educational tool is the eLearning Platform – eClass – that facilitates online teaching and learning through the establishment of virtual classrooms, supports lecture capture, live and video on demand lectures and tutorials, and integrates real-time and asynchronous collaboration tools. Concisely, OUC’s eLearning Platform is a comprehensive and constantly evolving eLearning system backing the educational process across all its phases.
Students use eClass to:
- access their course materials,
- organise their study calendars,
- communicate with their tutors and fellow students,
- submit their formative assignments and coursework, and
- receive feedback on their progress.
Self-assessment exercises allow students to test their understanding and progress and seek additional academic support. In a true collaborative environment, the eLearning platform also supports live interaction and direct contact with academics, peers and fellow students. The synchronous collaboration (virtual classrooms, live streaming) and asynchronous (forums, instant messaging) communication tools are fully utilised by experienced and dedicated academic staff, offering effective and interactive academic support, guidance and advice.
Despite being ”distance” in essence, learning experience at OUC is complemented by academics-students group tutorials and lectures that are scheduled throughout the academic year and, while not mandatory, they play a key supporting role in educational processes. These tutorials are mainly conducted online using eClass virtual classes, and are academically challenging and rigorous. Tutorials serve to facilitate students in addressing course material in a constructive and critical manner, and constitute an important support and feedback mechanism, which allows students to maximise their learning potential. In addition, tutorials serve as a forum for questions and answers so that students may benefit and share their learning with tutors and fellow students and fully comprehend the content of every Module.
To ensure the integrity of OUC degrees and examination processes, students are required to attend in person (at examination centres in Cyprus, Greece or – under certain conditions – in third countries) the final written exams, which count towards a significant percentage of their overall grade.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, examinations are conducted remotely for the safety of both students and instructors. The examinations are conducted through the e-Class Distance Learning Platform of APKY either in the form of written or oral examination.
Moreover, virtual labs simulating laboratories have further enhanced the University’s educational capabilities in supporting and offering high quality innovative programmes in scientific areas of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences.