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Athabasca University

Strategic University Plan (SUP) 2011-16 References

2.1 Mission, Mandate and Values

“Athabasca University provides high-quality, interactive learning environments that include a variety of online and other media technologies for individualized and cohort learning. The university’s library, tutorial services and extensive student support services that facilitate access and increase learner success are integral aspects of a quality open and distance education system. Similarly, its course designs and technology applications are based on current research in open and distance education, pedagogical advances in lifelong learning and contemporary developments in online learning technologies. The university actively pursues technological innovations that can enhance its teaching, research and administrative functions.”

Student Support

“A great many recent enhancements to student services, particularly in the online environment, have improved access for AU students and prospective students, making it easier to apply for admission, process transfer credits, register for courses, interact with tutors and faculty members, write exams and receive course results. More electronic resources have been made available to students through the AU library, and efforts have been made to embed information literacy seamlessly into the curriculum.”

Goal 1: To be the Leader in Quality Open and Distance Education

AU will actively promote open access to educational resources through various open access initiatives including eTexts, journals and scholarly monographs, as well as electronic portfolios, interactive digital archives and other analytical and conceptual tools.

Strategic Objective 1.1

Strengthen the quality and responsiveness of undergraduate and graduate courses and programs.

Priority Actions

  • Encourage and monitor the implementation of evidence-based practice in the pedagogy, curricular development and accessibility of online courses to continuously improve teaching and learning.
  • Ensure orientation to evidence-based practice for employees participating in online course delivery.
  • Provide easily accessible sets of guided online resources for research, teaching and learning.

Strategic Objective 1.3

Become the university of choice for those seeking post-secondary education through online or distance delivery.

Priority Actions

  • Initiate and lead a project to determine quality standards for e-learning.
  • Co-operate with professional associations and industry groups to explore online resource needs.

Strategic Objective 4.2

Enhance AU’s international reputation in key research disciplines, including
technologically enhanced online and distance education.

Priority Actions

  • Expand AU’s international leadership role in research in open access and online and distance education.
  • Develop a capacity for leadership in the data and learning analytics research community.

Updated January 23 2015 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.