Introducing University of Nottingham Online


September 28th, 2021

From Professor Andy Long, Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Dear colleagues

As many of us are aware, the demand for online learning has grown significantly as a direct result of the pandemic. While the on-campus learning experience will continue to be a major focus for universities, courses that are delivered 100% online and support distance learning will become more important than before as business, industry and governments seek to upskill and reskill their workforce as they work in a more flexible way.

Many universities already offer programmes that are delivered completely online. This allows them to reach a new set of learners, in addition to the students they teach on campus. Expected further growth in this area will mean that universities will be able to grow their student base in other countries quickly, without the need to have a physical presence there.

Learners that seek online learning will have a much greater choice of online courses and they will have more flexibility in when and how they study, regardless of where they are in the world. They will also be able to take advantage of stackable credits (micro-credentials), where demand is also expected to increase.

At the University of Nottingham we already offer a small number of courses that are delivered in this way. To enable us to grow our offering in this space and take advantage of a new audience where we currently have very limited reach, I am delighted to introduce University of Nottingham Online (UoNO). This initiative will enable the university to offer a range of flexible courses that are completely delivered and assessed online. It will also play a key role in helping us achieve our vision of becoming ‘a university without borders’ and our long-term sustainability goals, as articulated in the university strategy.

Sarah O’Hara, University of Nottingham Online Chief Executive Officer, highlights: “University of Nottingham Online allows us to compete more effectively with other universities in this growing trend of offering online courses. It will harness the significant skills and capabilities we have across our three campuses to develop and deliver high quality, high demand and skills-focussed education that will reach out to new potential students across the world. We will attract those who wish to access online resources, continuing professional development and lifelong learning.”

The initial focus of University of Nottingham Online will be Continuing Professional Development (CPD), where flexibility is needed most so that learners can fit study around their work and other commitments. A pilot is currently underway in the School of Health Sciences which will see the school offering a small number of online CPD study blocks in this manner from January 2022.

The online study blocks are equivalent to more traditional CPD study days. Learners and employers will be able to choose from a range of study blocks, with the opportunity for learners to take appropriate assessments to gain university credits. When a learner has built sufficient credits over time they will be able to apply for a university award.

There will be no set start points for the study blocks and learners will be able to complete them within a flexible timeframe. Assessments will be competency-based and will offer some flexibility in when a learner can take the assessment.

In addition to developing a suite of stackable credits (micro-credentials), the University of Nottingham Online project team will work with schools currently offering programmes that are completely delivered online to provide better support in developing digital content, more robust systems and best practice processes to enhance existing courses.

We welcome your suggestions for courses where there is proven high demand, that meet the needs of learners and employers to develop skills and could be completely delivered online. Please email UoN-Online@nottingham.ac.uk if you have suggestions or would like any further information. Following the pilot, we will work with other schools to analyse demand and start offering online courses in other areas. The university’s online portfolio will continue to build from this point.

A set of frequently asked questions are given below for your reference. We would also like to invite you to a one-hour briefing session (using Teams) to find out more about this exciting new venture and ask any questions that you may have. Please follow these instructions to book your place:

  1. Open the booking link
  2. Click on the date, then the time that you wish to attend the briefing. Choose one date from the following: Wednesday 13 October 1pm to 2pm or Tuesday 19 October 3pm to 4pm
  3. Enter your details, then click ‘book’
  4. The briefing session will automatically be added into your Outlook calendar – please check to make sure it has been added. Email UoN-Online@nottingham.ac.uk if you cannot see the entry in your calendar.

Regards

Andy

Professor Andy Long, FREng
Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor

You can find the University of Nottingham Online FAQs here.

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