This article is a critical reflection of the development and implementation of one of the first online doctoral programmes in the UK set up at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle in 2000.
The method adopted for analysis takes the form of a case study.
Effective market research has to be undertaken to fully understand what students need and expect from an online programme of study. Course providers need to identify highly motivated students. Second, critical success factors focus on a well‐targeted curriculum that provides the skills and knowledge relevant to student needs, backed by exceptional faculty who provide innovative course design. Finally, there is a need for integrating the management, teaching and technical team to ensure a high quality and coherent programme delivery.
The reflections in this article can be used as a guide by other faculties wishing to develop online programmes. The article highlights some of the pitfalls of developing and implementing online course delivery and proposes adopting instructional guides as an aid to course design.
The article provides an original insight into some of the operational, technical and managerial issues relevant to delivering an effective online programme of study at an advanced level.
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