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The Open University

Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners

The Open University via FutureLearn Program


UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) reports that over 91% of the world’s student population – a total of 1,576,021,818 learners across 188 countries and in all sectors – were affected in Spring 2020 by the closure of educational institutions as part of a broader ‘lockdown’ strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many institutions had to rush to put their teaching online, at an unprecedented scale. Student assessment was also affected, with many exams cancelled and others moved online, creating uncertainty for all involved.

Understand key theories and technologies that support online teaching

This ‘online pivot’ in education has become more permanent as more learning opportunities have moved online. Knowing how to create engaging online courses for adults will be a key skill moving forward, now that distance and online learning are used so widely.

On this microcredential, you’ll discover how adults learn online – and at a distance – drawing on key theories. You’ll evaluate technologies for supporting online and distance learning in specific contexts, drawing on a range of experiences and research to learn how to design engaging and inspiring online courses successfully.

Discover teaching approaches to support learners online

You’ll examine different online teaching and learning methods in terms of their appropriateness for specific settings and learners, and ways of ensuring your classes are inclusive and accessible.

Ultimately, you’ll explore some of the many possibilities offered by learning with technology, and investigate the benefits and challenges of approaches to online learning that will have long-term career value beyond lockdown and the coronavirus crisis.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded by academic experts from The Open University.

This course is part of a suite of Online Teaching microcredentials from the Open University: Evaluating and Improving Courses; Embedding Social, Race, and Gender-Related Equity; Online Teaching - Accessibility and Inclusive Learning; and Teacher Development - Embedding Mental Health in the Curriculum.


Courses under this program:
Course 1: Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners
-Learn how to design engaging online courses and ensure your online teaching is safe and accessible for a variety of learners.

Taught by

Leigh-Anne Perryman


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