Otago Polytechnic is one of several institutions in New Zealand that run these courses. Both courses are delivered online in BlackBoard, which means they are only accessible to the enrolled students. The Pharmacology and Prescribing course also attracts New Zealand midwives but on the whole, the number of enrolled students are very small.
The courses are continuous or roll-over enrollment: they deliver material which the student works her way through, and the student's knowledge is assessed by assignments which she submits for marking. There are also formative worksheets that the student can work through for her own learning and development. There is little or no interaction with lecturers, and because the enrollments are continuous rather than a fixed time frame, there is no interaction between students.
I have to admit I do not know much about Open Access apart from my own personal experience of joining an Open Access Course. I know that Otago Polytechnic has an Open Access policy but haven't really looked at it in any great detail. So here's my chance to find out more.
I have been asked to include in my proposal:
- what the advantages are;
- what would be involved with moving to Open Access
- why would Otago Polytechnic School of Midwifery want to do this?
- would give midwives free access to information that will inform their practice and professional development
- may help increase our enrollments, although I am skeptical about this
- will help us to maintain our claim that we are 'a leader in midwifery education' because as far as I can see, there are very few Open Access midwifery courses available
- will provide research/evaluation opportunities and outputs for us as we monitor the success or otherwise of this venture
- will allow midwives to prepare their assignments before they emigrate, which will save them time when they get here. Many midwives find they are very busy settling into their new homes/jobs when they arrive and it takes them ages to complete these courses.
So I would be grateful for any suggestions or feedback about what to include into my proposal, including any great references or research.
Is Open Access really as desirable or achievable as it is being mooted at the moment?
What evidence is there to support the idea that people interact with Open Access education material for their own professional development and learning?
What is the best way of presenting Open Access material for people who have only basic computer skills?
Do you know of any Open Access midwifery or health courses?
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