Building an infrastructure for empowering Distance Education in the Open University of Cyprus
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Universities worldwide offer distance education courses through a number of channels. There is a plethora of courses offered either as part of official Programs of Study that lead to a degree or even as Vocational Training Programs or as MOOCS. The Open University of Cyprus (OUC) is the only higher education organization in Cyprus dedicated to distance education using an innovative eLearning Platform named eClass. The eClass eLearning Platform is the main educational medium of the Open University of Cyprus that hosts a number of services, courses, educational content and activities. The scope of this paper is to describe the eLearning Platform and the offered services that are integrated under its umbrella, like the Video Lecture and Streaming service, the Synchronous Learning service and the Plagiarism Detection service. Moreover, this paper presents an overview of how this platform is integrated to the University’s infrastructure for user creation and management, student enrolments and library services. We conclude by presenting metrics of the eLearning Platform usage.