UP showcases new Professional Online Development (PODs) offering at Flexible Futures Conference 2015

Posted on December 04, 2015

At the recent Flexible Futures Conference at the CSIR in Pretoria, the University of Pretoria (UP) showcased its wide range of online and blended learning opportunities and launched its Professional Online Development (POD) offerings.

Hosted by the Vice Principal: Academic at UP, Prof Norman Duncan, the conference offered participants the opportunity to explore how e-learning is shaping the new hybrid teaching and learning model at UP.

With its roots deeply entrenched in the provision of sustainable knowledge and the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, UP also has a grounded history of nurturing and growing professionals to reach their top potential – positioning itself not only at the forefront of undergraduate and postgraduate studies, but also of professional skills development.

The University formalised its professional development offerings in 2000 through campus entities such as Continuing Education at the University of Pretoria (CE at UP) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). In this way, the University enables continued, specialised training for all to maintain and improve their professional competence, enhance career progression, keep abreast of technological advances and industry practices while complying with professional regulations.

CE at UP’s General Manager, Hermien Dorfling, presented the POD offerings at the Flexible Futures Conference. The range of online training interventions currently available have been consolidated under the POD brand, underwriting the hybrid model’s strength of encapsulating real-time engagement, developing hybrid possibilities and meeting an ever-growing demand for online learning, both facilitated and self-paced.

Recognising that many professionals would like to continue honing their knowledge and skills, but often struggle to find the time to attend formal lectures, UP has consolidated all its continuing professional development online course offerings under one umbrella: Professional Online Development (POD).

As a key component of the hybrid model of UP, PODs provide skills development training through intensive, collaborative and focused learning opportunities in an online environment that optimises on global participation and takes advantage of the lifelong learning opportunities presented by UP’s experts being available anywhere, at any time.

The PODs include, among others, Open Education Resources (OERs) such as UPSpace and AfriVIP, as well as various online short courses, open online courses (free enrolment for the public) and online CPD courses presented through CE at UP. The full range of PODs can be accessed through the Teaching and Learning portal on UP’s website.

UP has made the inevitable shift towards the continuation of lifelong learning by reaching through the digital ceiling and producing the fruits of excellence to ensure further growth and giving new life to further education and professional development through an online learning environment that opens possibilities beyond the classroom.

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- Author Teaching and Learning

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