MA in Online Teaching - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

The MA in Online Teaching is designed to meet the needs of practitioners worldwide who are designing online and blended teaching, learning and assessment in their professional context. It focuses on developing a theory and evidence-informed approach to designing and delivering equitable online teaching, learning and assessment that meets diverse learners’ needs while also embracing technological and pedagogical innovation and contributing to social justice.

The qualification aims to support your understanding of the challenges involved in designing and delivering online teaching in a range of contexts, sectors and settings. It explores how a research, scholarship and evaluation-informed approach can help address these challenges. It will enable you to critically reflect on theories relevant to online teaching, learning and assessment, and on institutional and national policies, as the basis for designing equitable and engaging online courses and learning experiences. A final scholarship report or extended research proposal component gives you the opportunity to conduct a small-scale research or scholarship project investigating an aspect of online teaching, and to report and disseminate the findings, or to plan a piece of research in depth. The MA in Online Teaching provides postgraduate professional development for lecturers, teachers, trainers, learning media specialists, library and support staff and other education and training professionals who wish to learn more about online teaching, learning and assessment, and about flexible learning that blends face-to-face and online education. It is not necessary to be based in an educational institution, however.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you’ll have knowledge and understanding of:

  • Current debates and key theories that practitioners draw on in the field of online teaching and learning design.
  • A range of pedagogical approaches and educational technologies, the ways in which they can affect online learners, and the potential implications in terms of equitable access, participation, study and life outcomes, and social justice.
  • The ways in which educational technologies and online pedagogies can be evaluated.
  • The affordances of different approaches to designing online learning and their suitability for particular contexts and learners’ needs.
  • The kinds of evidence that inform practice and the evaluation of practice in online teaching and the methods of enquiry, research and scholarship that can be used to collect that evidence.
  • The ways in which learners’ contexts and needs can have an impact on their opportunities for equitable participation in online learning, and how this can be addressed by educators and institutions.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and critically evaluate a range of theories relevant to online teaching and learning as the basis for designing equitable teaching, learning and assessment activities that meet diverse learners’ needs.
  • Draw on and critically evaluate a range of formal and informal published works relating to online teaching, learning and assessment, including national and institutional policies, as the basis for recommending appropriate ways of developing curricula to support equitable and accessible online teaching.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of a range of educational technologies and pedagogical and assessment strategies in specified settings and contexts.
  • Conceptualise, plan and conduct a small-scale research or scholarship project related to online teaching and report and disseminate the findings of that project
  • Reflect on your own learning, and use feedback from peers and others, to develop your study and professional practice.
  • Engage in online collaboration and discussion in order to develop your own and others’ understanding and awareness of diverse practice contexts.
  • Structure and present arguments in formats appropriate to diverse audiences.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • Critically engage with practical and professional skills, and ethical issues, related to online teaching.
  • Draw on a range of evidence to support the choices you make in designing teaching and learning activities.
  • Participate in online networks and communities to enrich your personal and professional development.
  • Reflect critically on your own practice as an educator and use this reflection as the basis for future development of that practice and of your own skills.
  • Identify and critique relevant institutional, national and international policies and legislation and evaluate their significance for a specified online teaching context.
  • Identify the needs and priorities of diverse learners, and especially learners facing disadvantage and marginalisation beyond education.
  • Design teaching content, activities and courses that meet online learners’ needs, and offer equitable participation in learning, within the constraints of a specified professional context.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • Locate, read critically, evaluate and extract value from a range of formal and informal sources
  • Collaborate and communicate online to further your own knowledge and understanding and to support others.
  • Accurately and effectively articulate ideas and arguments for informed audiences – for example, through scholarly writing and by contributing to learning communities or networks, using appropriate scholarly structures such as referencing systems.
  • Select, access and use a range of digital practices (including tools and resources) to find, use, create and share data, information and knowledge
  • Take responsibility for your current and future learning and practice within a supportive framework of your peers and a study advisor or tutor.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

When studying a module you will be a member of an online tutor group where you will engage in collaborative learning with other students in your group with the support of a designated tutor. You will also contribute to cohort-wide online discussion. You will be supported in both your group and individual study activities by an online tutor.

If you study any of the microcredentials, you will engage in cohort-wide collaborative learning with other learners, supported by one or more course Mentors in a designated discussion area each week.

There are no face-to-face activities involved in the modules or microcredentials related to this qualification. The teaching and learning for the qualification are both guided and resource-based with a mix of media including extensive online text-based, video, audio and interactive materials, online discussion areas, and the use of journal articles and other online resources.

Assessment for the modules is solely online and comprises one or more Tutor-Marked Assignments and an End of Module Assessment. All assessment tasks have real-world relevance, and you will be given the opportunity to draw on your own practice where appropriate. The End of Module Assessment for compulsory module H890 involves writing a 12,000-word scholarship report or extended research proposal.

Assessment for the microcredentials is also solely online and comprises an End of Module Assessment worth 100% of the final course mark. Again, the assessment is designed to have real-world relevance, and you will be given the opportunity to draw on your own practice where appropriate.

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