About ocTEL

Why this course? Purpose of the project

Teaching is increasingly using technology to improve the quality and extend the reach of learning. Examples of this can be seen in

  • the growth of distance learning
  • emergence of free and open access to learning materials from the Open University and MIT to Khan Academy
  • learning via simulations, as for example when dentistry students practise drilling skills with ‘virtual’ teeth
  • mobile and location-aware learning delivery, providing know-how at exactly the time and place it is needed

Poor use of technology is a significant waster of time and money in the public sector.

This course will help those planning and delivering teaching to make the best use of technology in their work and avoid pitfalls and hccups.

What the course covers

The course comprises ten modules plus an ‘induction’ week when participants get to experiment and explore how the course works. Each module is designed to consist of five learning hours, including a one-hour live webinar and a range of other activities.

See the Course Materials page for full information on each module.

How is the course being run?

The course is an example of one particular kind of technology-enabled education called a MOOC: a Massive Open Online Course. The features of this are:

  • course materials are a mix of a small amount of original material, a wider range of other materials to be found on the open web, plus major emphasis on work that course participants themselves produce, share and discuss
  • learners are encouraged to remix this massive array of material to suit their own goals (they are not expected to digest the full array)
  • there is an emphasis on peer learning and peer support — though tutors are also available.

Note that, while the course is adopting the MOOC model, it covers a wide range of models and does not advocate any one approach or model above others.

Who is running this?

The course is being organised by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). ALT is the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field. Its purpose is to ensure that use of learning technology is effective and efficient, informed by research and practice, and grounded in an understanding of the underlying technologies, their capabilities and the situations into which they are placed.

ALT works in partnership with other organisations promoting professional development in HE, including the Higher Education Academy and Jisc.

ALT received funding from the Leadership Foundation in HE to develop and run a pilot of the course in 2013. ALT is committed to finding ways to continue to develop and update the course for years to come.

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