Web-based studies

The Open University provides flexible opportunities to complete web-based courses and web-based examinations.

Because web-based studies mostly involve independent work on the computer and the self-directed exploration of learning material, students must be able to work independently and have good time management skills. Teachers prepare web-based assignments and supervise students. Each course has a separate discussion site for students to post questions and comments on their studies and discipline. Students can also interact extensively with each other through social media.

Web-based studies can be completed wherever you have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Each web-based course and examination has a timetable: assignments must be completed by a specific due date, and online discussions and examinations take place at specific times. The dates and times of online lectures in the web conferencing environment (AC) can be found in the study programme.

If you reside outside Finland and wish to complete web-based studies, please note the following:

  • Information on payments made via a bank outside Finland may arrive late.
  • The acquisition of assigned reading materials may take time. You can use your own contact persons living in Finland for assistance or buy books from online shops.

Because online communication usually relies on texts, writing is emphasised more in web-based studies than in traditional classroom-based teaching.

Many written assignments in web-based courses are similar to those in other university-level studies. Often, some assignments must be submitted to the discussion site of the course, where they will be available to all participants for viewing, commenting and learning.

Most web-based discussions are non-real time, which means that participants can use the time allotted for each assignment to formulate their comments or to comment on other participants’ contributions without undue haste.

They can also practise writing by exploring the self-learning materials on our website.

The Open University uses the Moodle online learning environment, which is accessible through a web browser. Moodle is easy to use: basic IT skills are sufficient to participate in web-based studies.

Moodle can serve the following purposes:

  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Distribution of learning materials
  • Online discussions
  • Submission of learning assignments
  • Completion of examinations

To find out whether a specific course uses Moodle, please consult the study programme.

In some courses, students can attend online lectures via the Adobe Connect (AC) software. The teacher’s voice, image and lecture materials are transmitted via the web.

  • For optimal access to Moodle and online lectures, you will need a fast Internet connection.
  • You need not install any special software on your computer.
  • Although other browsers will work, we recommend that you use Firefox.
  • You will need a word processor to complete written assignments.
  • The study programme will list any requirements for special software.
  • Companies and communities may have firewalls and other data security software installed on their computers which may prevent online courses or videos from downloading.

MOOC stands for ‘Massive Open Online Course’.

On MOOCs offered by the University of Helsinki

  • registration periods and procedures may be different from the regular registration procedures of the Open University
  • fees may vary
  • a University of Helsinki account username, usually given to students who register for Open University courses, is not always needed. No access rights to information systems are granted to students taking these courses.

MOOC-specific details on registration, fees and usernames are always included in the study programme of the relevant course.

MOOCs organised by the University of Helsinki can be found at mooc.fi (computer science) and mooc.helsinki.fi (other disciplines).

MOOCs available at the Open University are also listed in the course offerings of the Open University.