Collaboration in Distance Education: International Case Studies

By Louise Moran; Ian Mugridge | Go to book overview
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Chapter 3

Constructing a Master of Distance Education programme

An Australian collaboration in programme development and teaching

Jocelyn Calvert, Terry Evans, and Bruce King

In Australia, inter-institutional collaboration on the development of distance education courses is relatively rare, although there have been examples of various forms of co-operation on matters such as sharing study centres, enrolment and publicity information, and cross-enrolments. In this chapter, we describe some key features of collaborative course development and teaching which probably represent the closest association between staff at two institutions in Australian distance education. The institutions concerned are Deakin University and the University of South Australia 1 and their collaboration led to the first Master of Distance Education (MDEd) in the world. The MDEd is integrated with a new Graduate Diploma in Distance Education (GDDEd) 2 . We place the MDEd/GDDEd collaboration in the context of international and Australian developments; we describe its construction as an integrated inter-institutional venture from the establishment and work of the course team, through materials production and distribution, to marketing and teaching, and we then analyse our experience in the context of principles identified as aiding or inhibiting collaboration.

The master's degree (MDEd) is equivalent to one and a half years of full-time study and is designed to be taken over three years part-time through distance education. The Graduate Diploma (GDDEd), which shares some common course material with the first year part-time of the MDEd, is equivalent to one year of full-time study and is designed to be taken over two years part-time. Alternatively, students may work for a graduate certificate, equivalent to half a year of full-time study, again using common course materials. The entry qualifications are three years of tertiary education for the GDDEd and four for the MDEd (Australian

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