Learning and teaching: understanding your educational practice

This module is for those, who in some capacity are involved in educating learners in the 3–19 years age range. It offers significant interactivity as you engage with educational debates about how a rapidly changing, social and digital world is affecting learning, pedagogy and assessment in a variety of educational settings. It explores the key concepts from the perspective of learners (how is learning experienced), teachers (how are learning and teaching enacted) and contexts for education (how are learning and teaching organised). You’ll also focus on how learning and teaching are researched with a unit dedicated to researching practice.

Vocational relevance

We’ve designed this module to contribute to your current or future roles in relation to educational provision, with a strong emphasis on how the key concepts that underpin learning and teaching play out in practice. Part of the module’s activities will support your professional development planning. You’ll be encouraged to reflect explicitly on your digital information literacy skills and developing research skills, plus how you can use and continue to develop them in your context.


EE831 is an optional module in our:

EE831 is a compulsory module in our:


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
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

In this module you'll review ideas about learning, pedagogy and assessment from the perspectives of learners, teachers and the educational context. The four sections are:

  • How are learning and teaching experienced?
  • How are learning and teaching enacted?
  • How are learning and teaching researched?
  • How are learning and teaching organised?

Section 1
In the first section, you’ll consider learners’ perspectives on learning, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. This includes the issue of pupil voice, how it’s accessed and used in educational settings. It also includes consideration of the concepts of learner identity and learner agency, and how the global pandemic was experienced by students.

Section 2
In the next section, you’ll focus on educators’ perspectives on learning, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. This includes the consideration of the concepts of teacher agency and teacher identity, alongside teacher leadership. The unit will explore the link between pedagogical beliefs and pedagogical practice. It includes consideration of how technology can support learning and teaching and the impact of the global pandemic on how learning and teaching are enacted.

Section 3
In section three, you’ll learn about research design, including alternative research paradigms, research methods, and research ethics. Developing your research skills is an ongoing theme throughout the module.

Section 4
The last section focuses on educational settings, including culture and organisation. It considers the concepts of a learning organisation and a self-improving school (an intelligent school), alongside debates about what makes an effective learning organisation in the context of a changing world.

Each section considers concepts, in different educational contexts, through case studies from a range of international settings. Each section also includes an ‘activity week’ in which you’ll be provided with a set of resources and given the opportunity to reflect in depth, with others, on an issue or case study.

There’s opportunity for you to pursue your own interests within each section, so that by the end of the module you can consider yourself to be ‘expert’ on a chosen issue, having critically engaged with the literature and research in that area.

You will learn

The aims of the module are to:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of concepts and current debates about learning, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and contexts for education
  • develop your ability to apply this knowledge to considerations of practice
  • equip you with a high-quality, distinctive range of knowledge, skills and attributes needed for an increasingly competitive and international workplace
  • provide opportunities for you to engage with and contribute to a community of practice in addition to networks that are relevant to your academic or professional interests
  • support your personal and professional development.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work; you can also ask them for academic advice and guidance. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other through email and tutorials. Tutorials are offered via online meeting rooms and support is also facilitated asynchronously in tutor group forums and course forums. Tutors will also offer online sessions about aspects of the content of the module to the wider cohort of students on the module, which will be a good way to ‘meet’ other students and tutors. Additionally there will be some live webinars. We will advertise the tutorials and webinars before the module starts. Tutorials will be with your tutor, but some webinars may be led by other academic staff associated with the module. We recommend you book online to attend tutorials and note the dates for the live webinars.

Working with other students

There is no compulsory requirement for you to interact or collaborate with others in your tutor group although there is an assessed task which is recommended to be completed as a collaborative group in TMA03. How you collaborate will be a matter for you to decide. Many students do this asynchronously through forums and social media, others choose to meet online. We know that the sharing of ideas and experiences with your peers increases understanding of the issues that are studied on this module and therefore there are some activities that recommend working with other students. Your contribution to the collaborative task is marked individually, so if you choose not to collaborate this, in itself, will not mean that you attain lower marks in this module. We see collaboration as an important way in which people broaden their knowledge and understanding and therefore an important part of understanding the purpose of education for children and young people in and across different contexts.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Learning and teaching: understanding your educational practice (EE831) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2027.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

You must have the minimum of a:

  • bachelors degree (in any subject) from a UK university, or
  • professional qualification equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, or
  • qualification from a university outside the UK and equivalent to a UK bachelors degree.

Some knowledge and understanding of learning and teaching (around curriculum, pedagogy and assessment) will be expected.

We recommend you have an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 7.0 if English is not your first language.

You must also have:

*One of the discontinued modules E805, E854, E855, E891, EE811, EE814, EE817, EE880, EXA884, EXC884, EXG884, EXL884, EXM884, EXN884, EXP884 or EXT884

You do not need to be employed in or have access to an educational setting to study this module. However, it is important that you have an interest in education and some experience of engaging or working with learners, children or young people as all our learning experiences are all explored through the lens of education. You will need to be in a position to be able to apply your learning to a relevant context or learning environment. In order to get the most out of your studies on EE831 you do need to have an educational context that you know well, in mind to which you can apply what you learn. This may be somewhere you have worked in the past, or somewhere that you volunteer as a School Governor or in some other role.

Outside the UK

Synchronous tutorials and communications could be difficult to deliver to students outside the UK due to time differences. If you can’t attend the synchronous tutorials or make synchronous communications, you can use asynchronous alternative methods, such as watching recorded tutorials and emailing questions.

Preparatory work

If you haven’t studied EE830, we highly recommend you complete our badged open course Looking globally: the future of education. This free six-week course runs twice a year – in March and October.


Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Oct 2025 £2720.00

Registration closes 12/09/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2027.

Future availability

Learning and teaching: understanding your educational practice (EE831) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2027.

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Ways to pay for this module

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, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

Access to the module study materials via the module website. This includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • details of the assignments and appropriate guidance
  • online tutorial access.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

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 (and where applicable: musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Our resources have been accessibility checked and information to support accessibility of these resources will be found on the module website, which is available during study. This includes alternative formats of the module materials where available, which may be extended in the future.

Where possible, we can make reasonable adjustments to facilitate your participation where a learning difficulty or disability may impact studying.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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