Around AU – New Course Numbering System for AU

Plans for AU’s new course numbering system are moving ahead. The current system is being updated to reflect the growing popularity of four-year undergrad degree programs.

Course numbers were originally designed so that 200 numbers designated first-year courses and 300 numbers signified second-year ones. When four-year undergraduate programs became common, 300 numbers were used to designate both second- and third-year courses.

To eliminate confusion, the new numbering system will add a 1, 2, 3 or 4 to the existing three-digit course numbers. This will clearly designate the academic level of a course (e.g., HIST 328 would become HIST 2328 or HIST 3328), and make it simple to distinguish introductory courses from advanced ones.

Approvals are underway on the committee’s recommendations for the new numbering system, and the next phase of the project will begin in April.

In other news, the International Review of Research on Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) has received two honours. The IRRODL is a peer-reviewed journal supported by AU.

One of these honours was a $25,000 award from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Aid to Scholarly Publication Program. The award is the maximum allowed within the program.

To achieve this, the editorial board of IRRODL had to demonstrate the journal’s accomplishments and influence. As part of the process, the board provided details of the peer review process, as well as recent download statistics. Along with receiving the award, another result of the process was that the editorial committee expanded to encompass a wider group of scholars, both national and international.

The journal’s processes and results were also evaluated by external assessors, along with the editorial committee of AU Press. The journal made such an impression on the external reviewers that it received a recommendation for official publication by AU Press.

With special thanks to Athabasca University’s The Insider.

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