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University of Edinburgh

E-learning and Digital Cultures

University of Edinburgh via Coursera

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E-learning and Digital Cultures is aimed at teachers, learning technologists, and people with a general interest in education who want to deepen their understanding of what it means to teach and learn in the digital age. The course is about how digital cultures intersect with learning cultures online, and how our ideas about online education are shaped through “narratives”, or big stories, about the relationship between people and technology. We’ll explore some of the most engaging perspectives on digital culture in its popular and academic forms, and we’ll consider how our practices as teachers and learners are informed by the difference of the digital. We’ll look at how learning and literacy is represented in popular digital-, (or cyber-) culture, and explore how that connects with the visions and initiatives we are seeing unfold in our approaches to digital education.

This course will not be taught via a series of video lectures. Rather, a selection of rich resources will be provided through which you can begin to engage with the themes of the course. While the teachers will be present in the discussion forums and in various other media environments, there will be an emphasis on learner-led group formation, and the use of social media to build personal learning networks and communities of peers. On this course, you will be invited to think critically and creatively about e-learning both as a process and as a topic of study; you will be able to try out new ideas in a supportive environment, and gain fresh perspectives on your own experiences of teaching and learning.  This course is also intended to be an exploration  of the MOOC format itself.  Rather than approaching this course with the expectation of exacting teaching methods or precise learning routines, we invite all participants to collectively experiment with what the MOOC experience might be.

The course assessment will involve you creating your own digital artefact: something that is designed to be experienced digitally, on the web. It will be likely to contain a mixture of text, image, sound, video, links, and can be created in the environment of your choice. The artefact will be a representation of any of the themes encountered during the course, and you‘ll have the opportunity to use digital spaces in new ways to present this work. Our definition of ‘digital artefact’ is intentionally imprecise to invite experimentation and creativity: it will be evaluated via guided peer-assessment.

This course has been developed collaboratively by a team of experienced teachers and researchers in online education, who run the international MSc in Digital Education distance programme at the University of Edinburgh.

Taught by

Jeremy Knox, Sian Bayne, Jen Ross, Christine Sinclair and Hamish A. Macleod


4.0 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

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  • eileen_greening
    This is the course for educators to consider and discuss the use of technology in the classrooms. Interesting video lectures, tenacious and responding instructors, and creative assignments where we could tell digital stories through images, videos, or blogs were strong points of this course. 42,000 people were taking this MOOC and the sense of the international classroom was exciting and inspiring. However, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of posts on forums and social groups. To stay on track, one needs to be really good in filtering information.
  • Anonymous
    Highly social course. Discussions on pedagogy, blended learning, and educational technology initiated by the professors still continue on FB, google+, and twitter. Engaged staff, and wonderful participants. Great opportunity for educators to expend professional network and communicate the ideas.
  • Anonymous
    Loved this MOOC!! It's actually the only MOOC that I've ever finished. The keys for completion for me were the excellent resources the facilitators provided (a variety of readings and videos that could easily be digested in the time given), being able to communicate in a variety of ways (discussions on a particular topic, virtual chat rooms to go into after the video vignettes), and being able to build my own little sub-group out of the hundreds (thousands?) of people enrolled. I also like the Hangouts that gave you a chance to meet with others in the class and the facilitators at the same time. Very well done!
  • Aana

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