Workplaces and work roles increasingly involve media-rich and technology-enhanced forms of learning, professional practice and personal development, often summarised in the term ‘elearning’. Accordingly the experience of achieving this masters degree has proved vocationally relevant across a wide range of occupations and locations, from managers in business organisations, media professionals, teachers of languages, consultants, trainers and teachers at any level of the education sector.
Each module in the MA in Online and Distance Education requires study using a range of tools and The Open University's online learning environment. Consequently you will improve your personal skills in using these tools, enabling you to develop your own practice and to learn from others. You will explore in depth the research and practice literature in technology-enhanced learning, and experience the implications of learning technology choices made across a wide range of contexts and organisations, both formal and informal. You will advance not only your skills of selection and design of technology, but also your understanding of how technologies engage learners and how they can be evaluated and developed on a continuing basis.
Depending on your choice of module study, the qualification will enable you to demonstrate in addition, expertise in particular areas:
- Designing, implementing and critiquing technology-enhanced learning, if you study Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates (H800)
- Open educational resources and approaches for learning within university, college, management or other contexts, if you include Openness and innovation in elearning (H817)
- The development of inclusive education in relation to the accessibility of learning contexts online for all students, including the support needs of those with a disability, if you include Accessible online learning: supporting disabled students (H810).
- If you wish to specialise in the research and evaluation area, you can also build a foundation in terms of engagement with the research literature and research methods, which provides an excellent platform for further postgraduate study, if you have included Practice-based research in educational technology (H809) (now discontinued).
- The increasing usage of social media and open content by educators and students to share knowledge and practice through online dissemination and an online conference if you include The networked practitioner (H818).
The vocational relevance of the MA in Online and Distance Education goes well beyond the obvious category of teacher and trainer, and previous alumni have included librarians, media professionals, project managers, consultants, entrepreneurs, other professionals in commerce, practice educators in nursing, and web developers.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.