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University of Auckland starts rolling out online courses

06 Nov 2015

The University of Auckland is investing in elearning options, beginning by making it’s most popular undergraduate course available as an online class.

The Faculty of Arts Stage Philosophy paper, Critical Thinking, already attracts about 2,500 students over two semesters, according to the University

It’s chosen not just by Arts students but also those taking degrees in Law, Engineering and Medicine, UoA says.

From 2016, students will have the choice between attending traditional lectures in a lecture theatre with weekly tutorials, and taking the course online.

It will become the University’s first LOC or ‘Large Online Course’.

Online students will still have to sit the end of course exam in person on campus, or at a location out of Auckland in agreement with the University.

The in-person and online courses count equally toward students’ degrees, and both versions of the paper will be run by Associate Professor Tim Dare and Dr Patrick Girard in Philosophy.

Dare says the online version will help students avoid timetable clashes, plan the course around their other commitments and take pressure off lecture theatres.

“We know students are juggling work so they can do this course in the evening,” he says.

Under the new online course, lecture material will be delivered through short videos and articles, specifically designed for online consumption.

The University recently ran the Critical Thinking course as an eight-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that attracted 28,500 students from around the world.

A lot of the video material used in the online Critical Thinking course will be sourced from the MOOC videos, but as the course is 12 weeks long, Dare and Girard will be back in front of the cameras between now and Christmas to finish filming another four weeks-worth of videos.

Students who are not enrolled in a degree at the University of Auckland will also be able to enrol in the course as a Certificate of Proficiency (COP).

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