Towards Designing an Oxford Experience in an Online Distance Program

Jill Fresen
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Xavier Laurent
University of Oxford, United Kingdom


This paper describes the methodology and findings of a project to design and develop an online distance program at the University of Oxford (UK). The program is one of the first to be offered almost entirely at a distance, for a core qualification at the University, as opposed to professional development courses. The aim of the project was to investigate how to design an online, distance learner experience that mirrors the Oxford face-to-face experience as closely as possible, for the newly launched Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine (OPSM). The main challenge was for this research-intensive, face-to-face university to adopt flexible and distance learning methods, with little prior experience in doing so. The programme will launch in September 2016 with 20 to 30 students. Ongoing evaluation of the programme will reveal whether or not the team has been successful in its aim.

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