An open university is a university that operates under the Open Learning System that provides higher education for all students regardless of their age and nationality.
The Open Learning System is characterized by flexibility to accommodate a wide base of learners in higher education thereby offering educational opportunities to qualified applicants in accordance to their needs and abilities. It offers flexibility in tutorial hours, and tuitions. Tutorial hours are offered from 8:00am till 9:00pm evening.
The Open Learning System involves face-to-face tutorial sessions, using educational packages, and requires attendance; it provides as well indirect learning support materials such as CDs, and other multimodal methods.
Does the AOU apply the online or distance learning educational system?
The AOU does not apply the online or distance learning educational system. The university adopts various direct and indirect teaching and learning methods as outlined below.
a. Direct teaching and learning methods:
· Face-to-face tutorial sessions where attendance is mandatory at least once a week. The tutorials are available from 8:00am to 9:00pm and could be organized into 1 or 2 days per week to accommodate working students.
· Office hours, on a one-on-one basis, where students individually meet with their course tutors. These hours aim to help students cope with the topics that they face difficulties with and provide help to students in any other academic issue. Office hours are available till late evening hours, enabling working students to meet with their tutors according to their work schedule.
b. Indirect teaching and learning methods that enhance the learning process:
· Reading materials: books and printed materials.
· Audios and visuals: in the form of CDs, DVDs, and other multimodal methods
· Lectures and PowerPoint presentations: Those are uploaded on Moodle as well as other supporting teaching materials.
· Student forums: whether online or face-to-face, enhance the learning process, stimulate critical thinking, foster collaboration in problem-solving, and promote the sharing of information and ideas.