Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners
Learn the practical skills you need to create online courses successfully, and develop your ability to teach adults online.
DatesStarts on 12 Jun 2023Join by 12 Jun 2023 at 22:59See more start dates
CreditUniversity CreditLearn more
Get the skills to teach adults online and at a distance
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 have 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 is likely to become permanent as more and more learning opportunities move 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.
What skills will you learn?
- Designing online learning activities
- Designing online assessment
- Supporting diverse learners online
- Teaching online
- Selecting learning technologies
- Evaluating research evidence
- Developing persuasive arguments
- Designing online courses
What you will achieve
By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how adults learn online, and at a distance, drawing on key theories
- Identify and evaluate a range of online teaching and learning methods in terms of their appropriateness for specific settings and learners
- Identify and evaluate technologies for supporting online and distance learning in specific contexts, drawing on a range of experience and research accounts
- Design online teaching and learning activities, courses and assessment that meet diverse learners’ needs, drawing on a range of evidence to support your design decisions
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how online teaching, learning and assessment can be made safe and accessible to diverse learners
Are you eligible for this microcredential?
To join this microcredential you will ideally have:
- A Bachelors degree or an equivalent level qualification
- Experience of working in education
- A strong interest in teaching and learning
This course incorporates content from an existing OU module, Technology-enhanced Learning: Foundations and Futures (H880). If you have completed H880, or are currently studying it, please contact us before registering.
The course material does not assume that learners are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.
Is this microcredential right for you?
This microcredential would benefit anyone currently working in, or looking to work in: universities, colleges and further education, adult education, and workplace learning and development settings. It will enhance the employability of roles including:
- Learning designers
- Education technologists and specialists
- Heads of departments
- Institution leaders and managers
The course has a global focus and delivers transferable skills for diverse sectors and organisations.
What happens before, during, and after your microcredential
You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any information relating to your microcredential.
From 12 Jun 2023
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.
13 hours per week
Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by academic experts from The Open University. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.
What you will receive
15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate
Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at postgraduate level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / Level 11 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.
What is a microcredential?
Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.
Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.
Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.
Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.
Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.
Career-focused learning by The Open University
As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.
LocationMilton Keynes, UK
World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
Delivered by experts
I'm a professor at The Open University, focused on educational futures, learning analytics, MOOCs, innovating pedagogy & online social learning.
Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman leads The Open University's Online and Distance Education programme. Her research explores the relationship between equity, social justice, online teaching and open pedagogies.
I am Professor of Educational Technology at the OU. My interests are in digital scholarship, open education, OER and MOOCs.
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
- Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate
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When would you like to start?
We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.
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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.
You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.
Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.
There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.
No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.
Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.
The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.
Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.