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, which is presented on the FutureLearn platform, giving you the opportunity to explore in depth issues related to learning at scale, open learning, and learning design. All module materials are online. You’ll explore them individually, some in small groups and some with the entire cohort. Small-group work will take place using both text-based discussion and online room sessions, guided and supported by your tutor. You’re also welcome to lead your own online discussions and to use a range of online resources, including those provided by the OU and by FutureLearn. 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, mobile learning and citizen science.
One purpose of the module – and one of the main reasons we have chosen to use the FutureLearn platform – 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, reflecting on your experience of open courses, talking online with your tutor and fellow students or trying out a new tool you have just found, we’ll be asking you to keep in mind fundamental questions about the nature of learning, teaching, assessment and learning design. You’ll consider issues of openness, networking and accessibility and how these relate to different contexts. You’ll examine the keystones of technology-enhanced learning and their relevance in different contexts. You’ll also look ahead to 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 32 study 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'll 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.
This module will be delivered on the innovative online platform of FutureLearn. You may already know FutureLearn, which was founded by The Open University, for the free short courses it hosts for universities and institutions around the world. In addition to these free short courses, FutureLearn has a growing collection of full fee-paying university courses linked to undergraduate and masters-level qualifications. These fee-paying courses feature additional options and tools that aren’t available on the free courses.
If you’ve studied with the OU recently, you’ll find that FutureLearn works a little differently. For example, it’s entirely online and highly interactive, so you won’t be using printed or offline course materials. However, you’ll still have access to our tools and resources, as well as new options that aren’t available in the OU’s virtual learning environment. Importantly, as a fee-paying student, you’ll still have the same excellent tutor support that you would on any of our other modules.
This module is divided into four eight-week programs: Foundations of TEL, Adapting to Contexts, Opening Up Education, and Educational Futures. Each program ends with reflection and assessment. There is a week’s break between each block.