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Course planning for Open University Teachers

Course planning for Open University Teachers

Dear Open University teacher,

Welcome to teach at the Open University at Åbo Akademi University. Below we have collected useful information for you regarding teaching at the Open university, I.e. concerning course participants, accessibility, examination, competence development, cheating and plagiarism, registration of study credits, course evaluation and tuition fees. The material is extensive, and we recommend that you go through the structure of the course with the education planner before the course starts.


Teaching may sometimes require compulsory attendance by the course participants (e.g. seminars, laboratory sessions, fieldwork and certain exercises). However, please note that compulsory attendance may not be required for regular lectures. More information can be found in Åbo Akademi University’s instructions on examination and assessment, chapter four.

Should you need a list of participants but have not received one, please notify the education planner or local organizer.


The Open University’s tuition fee is 50 euros/term. Course participants enrolled for a lower or higher university degree at ÅAU, students within upper secondary education and personnel at ÅAU are exempted from the participation fee.

In addition, the local organizers charge their own tuition fees (if you teach courses for our partners, e.g. Vaasa Summer University).


We recommend you to get acquainted with Åbo Akademi University’s code of conduct, as it also applies to Open university courses.


The aim of the Open University is to organise teaching to be accessible to course participants with special needs, such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism, reduced vision, reduced hearing or equivalent. This entails making sure that the teaching material is accessible but also providing individual arrangements for students with special needs. The most common individual arrangements are extended time in examinations, the opportunity to work individually instead of in groups and extended loan periods at the library.

Should a student contact you regarding special needs, ask them if they have a written recommendation regarding individual arrangements either from the study advisors at ÅAU (degree students) or from the open university accessibility advisors (non degree students).

  1. Should they have a recommendation; you can agree with them on how to apply the recommendations in your specific course.
  2. Should the course participants not have a recommendation, ask them to be in contact with the accessibility advisor at the Open university. The accessibility supervisor will assess the situation with the course participant and agree on recommended individual arrangements. The course participant can after this show the recommendation to you and then you can agree on how to apply the individual arrangements in your course.

Åbo Akademi University provides information on accessibility guidelines and useful guides, tips and advice on how teachers can take accessibility into account in their teaching. The additional information can be found at ÅAU intranet (login with ÅAU username) Accessibility, information for teachers.

The accessibility advisors at the open university:


The course examination is an issue that must be properly planned before the start of the course. It must be clear what is being examined, with what type of examination tasks, when the examinations takes place and which grading scale applies. A course should not start before these details are settled. If there are some unclear aspects regarding the examination, the teacher can always raise the matter with the education planner during the course planning process or vice versa. The course’s examination forms are governed by what is stated in the study guide, so to that extent the information in the study guide is the starting point for all courses.

More detailed information on how a course is examined must be communicated in writing to all admitted course participants at the start of the course. The forms of examination for a course affects the rights and obligations of the course participants and what is expected of the course teacher when it comes to carrying out the examination on the course. These types of issues are regulated in detail in Åbo Akademi University’s instruction on examination and assessment. Below is a description of the most central forms of examination in the courses carried out via the Open University.


The most typical form of examination in Open University online courses, is the written and oral assignment. All forms of examination tasks, which require some form of submission by course participants and are assessed by the teacher, fall into this category.

In the case of assignments in online courses, the teacher is not obliged to provide an opportunity to complete them after the given deadline. Thus, course participants have no subjective right to supplement submitted assignments after the deadline. The exception is assignments that can be assessed with a failing grade, supplementation possible. The grade (fx) implies that the assignment may be supplemented. The teacher must give this opportunity to supplement the assignment, together with instructions with a time limit, in writing to all those who have received the grade (Fx). If a different grading scale is applied to the assignments, the teacher can provide an opportunity for course participants to raise their grades. However, this must not be done selectively. It must be offered to all students.

If the examination is based on tasks carried out under the supervision of ÅAU, the task becomes an exam. It is the supervision that qualifies the exam. Different rules apply to exams than to written and oral assignments.

Another exception is if the examination is based on tasks with continuous assessment that require compulsory attendance for all or most of the given activities (mainly online courses). In these cases, the examination form is a continuous activity, which also has different rules than the examination form written and oral assignments.


Courses might include supervised examination either on campus or online. These exams are tasks to be completed and submitted by the course participants under some form of supervision. At the Open University, there are relatively few courses with supervised campus exams, or alternatively via some form of technical distance supervision. If the course is examined via an exam, there are opportunities for course participants to retake their exam. If the course you are teaching has exams as a form of examination, familiarise yourself with chapter two of the Åbo Akademi University’s Instructions for Examination and Assessment. Discuss with the education planner regarding how the Open University exam is conducted.


Please note that teachers are not obligated to give substitute or supplementary assignments to students who are unable to attend lectures. However, some courses might require a certain percentage of attendance. In these cases, substitute assignments might be a good option for those course participants who e.g., due to illness need to be absent. Otherwise, these participants cannot pass the course, i.e., they do not have the right to take exams or otherwise be assessed. See more info here. The teachers do not need to negotiate with the course participants about what they should do instead of being present.


ChatGPT and other similar AI-based text editors or text generators, so-called large language models (LLM), are interactive AI applications that generate text based on questions, prompts or keywords that the user enters.

  1. In their courses, students must be informed about the principles and disadvantages of using AI/language models. The teacher should make sure that it is clear what applies in each specific course.
  2. When planning assignments and assessments, teachers should try to ensure that students cannot cheat by using AI/a language model. Students should not be able to answer the course assignments solely using the language model without thinking for themselves.
  3. The teacher cannot require students to use AI to complete an assignment, as AI requires registration on an external service.


Cheating and plagiarism are deviations from scientific practice. These types of misconducts have consequences at ÅAU. It is important that all online courses contain information (via web links) about what it means if a course participant deviates from scientific practice. If such suspicions arise in the course you are teaching, please contact the education planner. ÅAU has a form to be filled if there is a suspicion of cheating or plagiarism that you can find here.


As an Open university teacher, you may take part in ÅAU training and development courses. The greater part of the courses is in Swedish, but some courses are given in English. You can choose between short courses, longer courses, seminars, information sessions and courses that support your teaching and use of Moodle. See the course catalogue for what is currently offered.

The learning platform Moodle has been updated to a new version. There is a short guide that illustrates the changes and a resource room for teachers in Moodle, where you will find all the information you may need.

Together with all Finnish higher education institutions, ÅAU participates in the Digivisio2030 programme. The project’s focus is on digital pedagogy.


According to Åbo Akademi University’s Instructions for Examination and Assessment, the examination results should be published no later than two weeks after the examination (within three weeks if the course has more than 40 participants).

Please fill in the details of the persons who passed the course and send the grade list to the Open University office and the education planner (cc). The Open University office will register the results in the study register Peppi. Always send the information as an email to opu@abo.fi. Note that all registration of study results in Peppi should take place at the Open University office even if you as a teacher have access to Peppi.


Åbo Akademi University may issue certificates for courses completed only at the Open University. Certificates are only printed on request and can be ordered from opu@abo.fi.


The Open University continuously evaluates the courses in order to develop and improve study options for our participants. We ask you to encourage your participants to do the evaluation, as it is important for the continued development of our work. The feedback is also sent to you for your information.

Contact details for the education planners are found in the course catalog in direct connection to the respective subject. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or want to discuss something!

At the end of the course, the course participants are asked to evaluate the course. The evaluation takes approx. 5 minutes to fill in. With the evaluation, we want to know what the participants think about the content and implementation of the course. In addition, we hope to encourage participants to reflect on their own learning and learning process. Together with you as a teacher, we want to benefit from the views and responses of the course participants and, based on that, develop the teaching and the course content. The evaluation is compiled and shared with the teachers, heads of subject and possibly cooperation partners.


Renumeration table from 1.1.2022 and onwards: table (in Swedish)

The size of the salary is determined in accordance with the academic degree of the part-time teacher.

The salary for contact teaching within the basic education (lectures and seminars) can include both preparatory work and examination. Only preparatory work is included in the salary for contact teaching without examination. In other cases, the salary is determined according to teaching and supervision on digital courses.

The amount of hours for a teacher supervised digital course, which takes place entirely on a learning platform (e.g. Moodle), or only has occasional meetings, are calculated based on the number of students. The fee is determined according to teaching on digital courses.


Online course, 5 ECTS
Online course, 10 ECTS
100 participants:  88 hours
80 participants: 76 hours
60 participants: 64 hours
40 participants:  50 hours
30 participants:  42 hours
20 participants: 32 hours
100 participants: 158 hours
90 participants:  148 hours
80 participants:  137 hours
70 participants:  126 hours
60 participants: 115 hours
50 participants: 103 hours
40 participants:  90 hours
30 participants:  76 hours
20 participants: 58 hours
10 participants: 36 hours


The number of tutorial hours does not include any scheduled teaching in real time, but a separate salary is paid for those (for potential lectures the lecture fee is paid without examination).

Regarding online courses. We can pay a maximum of 6 hours of lectures + guidance for online courses on the same course. Lectures that go beyond this reduces the number of hours for online course guidance by a corresponding amount.


Contact details to the education planners are located after the course offering on the website and on the subject pages on our website.

Contact details, office:

  • E-mail: opu@abo.fi
  • Telephone, office in Turku: 02-215 4666
  • Telephone, office in Vaasa: 06-324 7129

Updated 29.8.2023