Course aims

The aims of this course are to

  • Introduce new lecturers and aspiring lecturers to teaching and professional development in higher education,
  • Promote, develop and improve open academic practice within higher education,
  • Demonstrate and practice distributed-collaboration, social citation and professional reflection in the international educational development community,
  • Illustrate and share Oxford Brookes University’s professional development practices and associated resources with the global academic community,
  • Trial and evaluate a mooc to exemplify good practice in open, autonomous, diverse and interactive professional development.

I would like to leave the MOOC after 5 weeks feeling better informed about teaching and learning in higher education and confident that I could try some new things out and would possibly have formed a support network.

Engagement in the mooc requires participants to adopt open academic practices and suitable open educational resources (OER) for initial professional development as teachers in higher education.

Participants who complete this course can be expected to have:

  • Identified, reflected on and critiqued their knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of learning and teaching in higher education,
  • Appraised their learning and teaching skills and critically evaluated their professional practice, identifying their own professional development needs,
  • Identified and shared key texts in the field of learning and teaching in higher education, and illustrated the personal-professional impact of such texts on their practice,
  • Proposed, planned and presented a design for a learning activity,
  • Engaged in both collaborative as well as individual professional development practices at an appropriate level of academic, digital and research literacy,

Through MOOCs the wider possibilities of education in the digital age are being explored. It would be remiss of us not to explore educational development through the perspective of a mooc. As Stephen Downes has observed, digital literacy is as fundamental as – and yet is distinct from – the literacy of the printed word:

The internet has introduced us to a world in which we can communicate with each other in a wide variety of media. Where formally we could only talk and sing to each other, now we can create videos, author animations, link to videos and images and cartoons, and more, mix and match these in a complex open-ended vocabulary. What it means to be literate in such an information age is fundamentally distinct from the literacy of the 3Rs, and teaching new literacy an evolving challenge for those of us still struggling to learn it (Downes, 2009, ).