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Date published: 6 December 2011

Open Universities Australia (OUA) today announced that its online professional development program will receive a citation for the ascilite Innovation and Excellence Award for 2011 for Engaging in Online Discussion.

The citation will be presented tonight to Philip Paasuke, the Project Liaison Coordinator of OUA's Engaging Learners in Online Discussion (ELOD) program at the ascilite 2011 Conference in Hobart.

"OUA would like to congratulate Phillip on all the hard work he has put into this program. This is just one of many projects that are being developed through the new Centre of Online Learning Excellence (COLE) initiative and we look forward to replicating similar successes in 2012 and beyond" said Grace Lynch.

The ELOD program, developed and facilitated through COLE, was launched in early 2011 in response to the need for training a large number of tutors in effective teaching for an online environment.

The key focus of the course is providing tutors with strategies to effectively facilitate online discussions.

This program, offered across 19 Australian tertiary institutions, requires a minimum of 10 hours of participation over four weeks.

The four week course covers key areas such as getting started as an OUA tutor, how to be an effective online tutor, challenges and strategies in online tutoring, understanding the Tutorial Support Management model and integrating support services and emerging technologies.

The program has had an overwhelmingly positive response with a sharp increase in enrolments and positive feedback from tutors.

In 2011 there have been four ELOD sessions held, with over 180 participants Australia-wide.

Mr Paasuke worked in conjunction with Dr Grace Lynch, Lyn Atkinson, Sachin Dua and Jessica Robertson from OUA to develop and lead the project.

For more information about COLE visit

About Open Universities Australia - the leader in online learning

Owned by seven of Australia's premier universities, OUA is the national leader in quality online tertiary education. Enrolling more than 144,000 students since 1993, OUA provides access to over 1400 units and 170 qualifications taught by more than 20 leading Australian universities and tertiary education providers.

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