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OU students virtually graduate


Open University (OU) students graduating with a Masters in Open and Distance Education participated in the world's first virtual awards ceremony on 31 March.

Writing in yesterday's Independent Open Eye supplement, Sir John Daniel, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University says that as the students had completed their degrees on-line, it made perfect sense for them to receive their awards in the same way.

Daniel says that the students reported they found it easy to build friendships, despite the fact that all communication for the course were done on-line and that students are located all around the world. In February, the OU students' association launched Peer Support, an on-line service for students run by students (and alumni) which allows students to ask questions or make an ongoing link with a colleague.

Although Daniel says that combining the real and the virtual is an ongoing challenge for the OU, they seem to be succeeding - apparently many students report that the OU gave them greater support and a stronger sense of being part of a learning community than a traditional learning environment.

The Open University on-line alumni community can be found at


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