The introduction of StudieNet in all OUNL courses builds upon materials that have been
designed in line with the second generation paradigm of distance education in mind. This
implies that most materials are still based on print based sets of materials with extra media
resources such as audio, video, CD ROM, etc. The use of the StudieNet therefore focuses
especially on coping with exploitation issues, such as, news, discussion groups and tutoring.
But while revising, updating and making new courses, the StudieNet provision becomes the
core of the course design and production. A good example is the course Visual Programming
with Java that consists of a working book, a CD ROM and a complete web where students can
find an online introduction, discussion groups, examples of Java work, etc.
Depending on the level of involvement of tutors in the courses, they are responsible for
structuring the open and closed discussion in the discussion groups (threaded discussions).
They give answers to questions, monitor groups, give feedback to elaborations of task
assignments, and put forward initiatives. There are specific courses where the tutoring also
focuses on pacing the work of students (keeping track of their work, start date, end date, etc.).
E mail is not the favorite medium, they prefer the discussion groups to prevent work overload
of tutors in their mail box. For certain courses where BCWS was implemented as groupware,
the tutor (next to the content experts) takes a different role and responsibility.
Now most communication is a synchronous, individual to institution. Depending on the
adoption of the StudieNet as a core element of the course design there is in advanced courses
the introduction of synchronous media (audio graphics, groupware) and the fact that the
course design build upon group work that implies working with student teams online.
Assessment is still a separate activity that by law is organized in study centers in controlled
environments. A number of advanced courses build upon the elaboration of tasks that together
form a dossier that is the base for the final evaluation, next to eventually a restricted
summative test that checks basic knowledge. In the oncoming innovative competency based
design (ELO) they expect that student task resolution is the actual base for assessment and
there is no direct need to organize an extra assessment session in a study center. At the
political/strategic level this direction is yet to be approved and backed with a number of
procedural arrangements to be able to say that such assessment approaches conform to the
Course accreditation is a procedural activity based on the scores that result form the
assessment approach described above. Students receive a certificate for each course
completed. A set of certificates leads to a diploma when all courses have been taken
successfully. Whether a course is taken on the internet does not affect the value of the
The course fee is the same as for the earlier print based courses. Students are urged to
subscribe for a trajectory of courses. This helps the institution to cope with organizational
problems when adopting a completely open access approach. Students in this approach can
only start taking courses at two moments a year. At this moment there are six ways to
subscribe at the OUNL:
basic trajectory (f600, Dutch Guilders for at least two modules + extra guidance, support,
introductory sessions, )