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Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures

This module is for everyone with a professional interest in digital or technology-enhanced learning. It provides hands-on experience of a range of learning technologies and enables you to explore the processes of designing, implementing and critiquing e-learning and the ideas that underpin these processes. You'll use a range of social media, learn collaboratively and undertake individual study. You'll examine the use of technologies from different contexts and develop your skills in using evidence to recommend specific technologies. By the end of your studies, you will have developed your skills, knowledge and practice in relation to digital learning, teaching and training.

Vocational relevance

This module is highly relevant if you work in, or wish to move into, e-learning within higher education, further education, non-formal education or training. It is a core component of our MA in Online and Distance Education (F10), which is made up of separate modules.

When you have successfully completed H880 you will have developed your ability to act as an effective professional within the broad field of technology-enhanced teaching and training.

The module is aligned with the Professional Standards Framework developed by the UK’s Higher Education Academy (HEA), a framework used for benchmarking success within higher education teaching and support. Students working towards HEA Fellowship will be able to use their work on the module to help them build a fellowship case.

Some of our masters students are sponsored by their employers, and we expect this to be the case on this module. Employers have demonstrated that they value the vocational relevance of the programme and the professional benefits that it brings to their staff.


H880 is a compulsory module in our:

H880 is an optional module in our:

Postgraduate Loans

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may also be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England. For more information, see Fees and funding.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.

OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
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Module cost
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Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

A team of leading-edge researchers and educators who work on Learning, Teaching and Innovation at the OU have developed the materials for this module. All these materials are online, and you will explore them individually and in small online groups using text-based discussion forums and online room sessions, guided and supported by your tutor. You are also welcome to lead your own online discussions and to use a range of online tools, including those provided by the OU. You will be supported in individual study, in working together, and in seeking out new networks and sources of information on the Internet – from online journals to social media, and from learning at scale to open educational resources.

One purpose of the module is to give you hands-on experience of current and innovative learning technologies, together with opportunities to reflect on that experience. Whether you are blogging or sharing material on social media, talking online with your tutor and fellow students or trying out a new tool you have just found, we shall be asking you to keep in mind fundamental questions about the nature of learning, teaching, assessment and learning design. You will consider issues of openness, networking and accessibility and how these relate to different contexts. You will look back at the origins of technology-enhanced learning, but you will also look ahead to the new developments on the horizon and how these are likely to relate to your own practice.

The study materials and your tutor will support you as you read papers from some of the leading thinkers in the field. These resources will enable you to sift evidence from researchers and practitioners around the world who are working in further and higher education, training and other settings for learning. By the end of the 30 weeks, you should find that you have new skills to apply in your own context, a deeper understanding of the practices and debates shaping the world of technology-enhanced learning and a clearer view of its foundations and futures.

You will learn

You will learn about the choices that practitioners and learners make when using technology in education, and how these choices relate to current debates and key theories. You will experience and reflect on the use of a range of conventional and innovative technologies in different learning contexts. You will explore a range of formal and informal sources, interpret and discuss their implications, and articulate your ideas about them for different audiences. These experiences will enable you to draw on a range of evidence to support the choices you make when designing learning activities or developing training materials.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor will guide you on many aspects of the module, and will grade and comment on your written work. You may also ask your tutor for advice and guidance. You will be taught and assessed through a combination of media, including the Internet, live discussion online and contributions to message-based forums, email and written assignments. The module offers online tutorials. In these you will be able to interact with your tutor and other students using voice, visuals and text-chat.

If you have impaired vision or are D/deaf or hard of hearing, or if you have another disability that may affect the way you use a computer or your ability to communicate, you might find it difficult to engage with the online tutorials without specialist support. Please contact us in good time, before the module starts, to discuss this.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are difficulties that prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper. An extended piece of work, submitted in a format that you will choose from a list, takes the place of an examination.

Course work includes

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures starts once a year – in February. This page describes the module that will start in February 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2026.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Entry requirements

    To take this module you need to be ready for study at postgraduate level, usually demonstrated by having a bachelors degree or equivalent qualification. You need easy access to the Web, but you don’t need to be experienced in blogging or in online discussion forums. Nor do you need to be working in technology-enhanced learning but you should be interested in developing some expertise in this area.

    All teaching is in English, and your proficiency in the language needs to be adequate for postgraduate study and for contributing to online discussions by text and voice. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you make sure you can achieve a score of at least seven in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). To assess your English Language skills in relation to your proposed studies, you can visit the IELTS website.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    02 Feb 2019 Oct 2019 £2380.00

    Registration closes 17/01/19 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2026.

    Future availability

    Technology-enhanced learning: foundations and futures starts once a year – in February. This page describes the module that will start in February 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2026.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options. To find out more see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    H880 provides you with specially written online teaching material, learning activities that you will undertake individually or in small groups of fellow students, support from your tutor, live discussion online and message-based forums, a dedicated website and other internet resources.

    As an OU student, you can use the Open University Library website. This provides access via the internet to a wide range of online resources such as databases, full-text e-journals, reference sources, e-books, newspapers, images and more to support your studies. You can use these to do a literature search, keep up to date with your subject or read around a topic. Support for developing and improving your information-searching skills is available on the Library website and the Library’s Learner Helpdesk is there seven days a week to provide help and advice on finding and using information.

    You will have access to the cutting-edge research and academic expertise offered by the Learning Teaching and Innovation team within the OU and direct links to the online activity of the Computers and Learning research group (CALRG). You will also have opportunities for communication – both live and asynchronous – with world-leading researchers in educational technology.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    This module will encourage all students to consider the issues associated with accessibility in technology-enhanced learning. It will include opportunities to reflect on accessibility issues posed by different tools and resources, and to suggest practical approaches that learners, educators and designers can use to address these challenges. It will also include opportunities to consider and review the use of assistive technologies in the field of technology-enhanced learning.

    H880 requires the use of a wide range of resources, as you study emerging online technologies. Many of the materials will be delivered as web pages, PDF files and web-based tools. Tutorial and student-led discussions and activities will be carried out in online rooms. In addition, some discussions and collaborative activities will take place as live voice-based events in our audio-conferencing environment.

    We have tried to avoid using inaccessible resources, but some material that is core for the module may not be easily accessible if you use assistive technology. Some students may also find the amount of reading from technically different sources challenging. In many cases there will be sufficient alternative activities and material to enable you to complete assignments successfully. Where this is not the case, your tutor will give you additional support in collaboration with other OU staff. Support for access to Library resources is available from the Library Helpdesk.

    As you will be asked to study the use of emerging online tools, and to participate in live online discussions in an audio-conferencing environment, you may find it beneficial to have someone assisting you. Advice on this is available from an adviser.

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    Students are asked to consider a range of audiences in terms of writing and disseminating research outcomes. We encourage more scholarly writing where appropriate and it is possible that some students may experience some challenges with this, as with the need to write in different environments, such as online forums. Tutors will help by working with individual students to find strategies to manage specific learning activities in alternative ways.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.