Getting Started

3. A System of Integrated Learning

The AOU learning and teaching model is based on high quality educational materials. The Open University-based courses offered at the AOU are taught in English and are licensed from the OU(UK). The following is a brief description of the model:

·         Students are allocated to an individual subject tutor in the ratio of 25:1

·         Learning is facilitated through a university-wide electronic Learning Management System (LMS)

·         All branches are equipped with multimedia and computing laboratories to support students

·         Student assessment is carried out through two main components:

o   Continuous assessment, i.e. Mid-Term Assessments (MTA) and Tutor Marked Assignments – (TMAs), and

o   Formal end of semester examinations

            Where each component comprises 50% of the overall assessment score.

·         Tutors provide comprehensive feedback on students’ TMAs to direct them towards better understanding of the subject matter, and to enhance their learning experience.

      3.1  The Student Learning Package

This package, purchased from the student’s AOU branch, contains:

·         Core teaching materials specially prepared for active, independent study

·         A number of other items that vary slightly depending on the particular course requirements, e.g. further reading material in the form of set books, supporting notes, or study guides

·         Audio-visual aids in the form of cassettes and CD-ROMs.

The package contains most of the student’s needs for the study of his/her chosen courses.

      3.2  Tutorial Sessions

Tutorial sessions are designed to provide a forum for interaction between tutors and students on the one hand, and between the students themselves on the other. Tutorial sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis and are conducted by highly qualified and well trained tutors. These sessions are meant to be discussion forums covering the main topics for the study week ahead as identified in the course calendars. Tutors utilize these sessions in innovative ways that help students interact and learn more efficiently and effectively.

      3.3  Student Attendance

Required attendance varies depending on the number of credit hours taken per semester. On average:

·         Students attend 4-8 hours per week

·         English orientation courses require 8 hours of attendance weekly.

These sessions are not intended to serve as classroom-style lectures. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning by studying the course materials according to the schedule provided in the course calendar.

Attending face-to-face tutorial sessions of the registered course is mandatory by the student whose absence from such tutorials may not exceed 25% of the prescribed tutorials as stated in the approved University Calendar.

      3.4  Office Hours

Tutors maintain scheduled weekly office hours which are intended to provide a more informal environment for academic support. Students are advised to take advantage of these office hours for assistance with academic problems as needed.