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On 17 April 2017, UP Open University (UPOU) opened two massive open online courses (MOOCs)--ODeL 101: Introduction to ODeL, and Quality Assurance in ODeL -- as part of the Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) Certification Programs under the MODeL Certification Series.

The offering of MOOCs is done in keeping with the University’s role to promote open distance learning (ODL) and to democratize access to quality higher education in the country, as designated by RA 10650. UPOU, with the support of the Commission on Higher Education, aims to empower higher education practitioners through the MODeL Certification Series, which lends to the goal of capacity-building among higher education institutions (HEIs) through ODL and lifelong learning.

As a project funded by the CHED Institutional Development and Innovation Grants (IDIG), these ODeL Certification programs are specifically aimed at faculty and staff members of HEIs, and are divided into three tracks, each one with a specialization in mind: ODeL for Administrators, ODeL for Teachers, and ODeL for Technology Personnel/System Administrators. The courses are two of several in the series which qualifies a student for certification once completed.

ODeL 101: Introduction to ODeL runs for five weeks, and introduces students to the key concepts, theories, and principles of open and distance e-learning. It begins all three specialization tracks.

Quality Assurance in ODeL focuses on quality, as well as the mechanisms for quality assurance, as significant aspects of offering programs and courses in ODeL mode. Through the introduction of basic concepts and pillars of quality in ODeL and models of evaluating ODeL with a focus on quality, the four-week course aims to equip its learners, especially administrators, with knowledge on ensuring the quality of their programs and courses.

In addition to these courses, the following MOOCs will soon be offered through MODeL: Strategic Management of ODeL, Designing Learning in ODeL, Course Materials Development for ODeL, Assessment in ODeL, Learner Support in ODeL, and Technology in ODeL.

The ODeL Certification MOOCs, as well as several other courses, are offered through Massive Open Distance eLearning (MODeL), the official MOOC platform of UPOU. Interested learners may find out more about the courses being currently offered, as well as several other courses to come, by visiting the UPOU website or the MODeL platform.