Online learning for professional training and skills development.

In 2015, the University of Pretoria (UP) put its wide range of online and blended learning opportunities on offer at the Flexible Futures Conference in Pretoria under what it calls Professional Online Development – or PODs – as one of the key components of how online learning is shaping the new hybrid teaching and learning model at the University.

With technology shifting the way we see and experience the world on a daily basis, perhaps the most evident change in the drive for advanced knowledge is the approach to postgraduate studies and, more specifically, professional training.

Online learning is arguably one of the biggest game-changers in this arena, and today’s professionals require a knowledge base that is as dynamic as their contexts. They need to configure their own knowledge and skills based on the demands of an ever-changing world of work and the learning requirements and opportunities that go hand-in-hand.

As UP makes the shift towards offering accessible lifelong learning opportunities through a consolidated online offering, Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) has also made its full complement of online Training Solutions available under the PODs umbrella.

With specialised short courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes becoming increasingly important, Enterprises UP not only recognises that today’s dynamic and ambitious professionals need to upskill specific areas of expertise quickly to keep their knowledge base current, but that they also constantly need access to best-practice industry bodies of knowledge.

“With its grounded history in nurturing and growing professionals to reach their top potential, UP now provides a way that they can enjoy the flexibility of online learning while still having access to world-class knowledge outputs from the University,” explains Prof Norman Duncan, Vice Principal: Academic at UP and Chairperson on the Board of Directors of Enterprises UP.

Developing opportunities to meet an ever-growing demand for online learning, Enterprises UP’s online offering currently includes a wide range of online short courses and online CPD for professional skills development.

These courses provide skills development training through intensive, collaborative and focused learning opportunities that are available around the clock and can be accessed from virtually anywhere. The online learning environment also optimises global and expertise participation while taking advantage of the learning interventions that are presented by UP’s experts.

Interaction and engagement in activities or discussions are also part and parcel of this online experience as communities of practice develop through a shared collection of understandings, stories and best practices to solve problems that are either encountered during the learning intervention, set by course presenters during lessons or even in professionals’ respective work settings.

PODS

Mrs Hermien Dorfling, Executive Manager: Training Solutions at Enterprises UP explains,

“Online courses are an attractive way to pursue lifelong learning. Many of these courses provide delegates access to either free resources for learning and assessment or specialised online learning programmes that include credit-bearing modules, tests or other assessments that can also be completed for CPD points.”
PODS

As the future of the knowledge drive is aimed at the rapid accumulation of specific technical knowledge and skills, the University is perfectly positioned to offer world-class, specialised short courses in the quest to prepare professionals for a wide range of modern-day professions.

For more information on our full online offering and other professional online learning activities, visit www.enterprises.up.ac.za/pods. Click here for more information on the University of Pretoria’s hybrid teaching and learning model. Also see the full feature on PODs in the latest issue of Tukkie (pages 40–41) – the official magazine for UP alumni – here.