Online Microcredential in Teaching

Online Teaching: Accessibility and Inclusive Learning

Make your online teaching accessible and learn how to plan, design, and deliver inclusive learning and teaching online.

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Learn inclusive teaching strategies to support students with additional needs

This microcredential provides teachers and professionals working in education with the skills to understand, design, and deliver online learning that is accessible and inclusive.

Under the guidance of online teaching experts at The Open University, you’ll develop the pedagogical, technological, procedural, and legal knowledge you need to enhance the accessibility of your online courses.

Discover the benefits of a blended learning approach

Although online teaching presents new challenges, online learning can provide a truly accessible and flexible mode of study with proper insight and planning.

This course will provide you with blended teaching strategies that combine the benefits of online study with face to face teaching.

You’ll explore how current technologies and emerging innovations are improving study for millions of learners with disabilities such as hearing impairments, visual impairments, speech, language and communication needs, and physical disabilities.

By supporting all students to study effectively using technology at a distance, you’ll learn how to mitigate the major challenges to teaching in an unpredictable world and create a more inclusive environment in your online classroom.

Improve your practice for teaching students with disabilities

From evaluating good examples of online learning practice to responding to feedback that learners have found elements of teaching inaccessible, you’ll explore inaccessible teaching examples from across all forms of education and discuss scenarios with broad applications.

The final assessment offers you the chance to improve the accessibility of materials or activities that you’ve created or that are relevant to your practice.

How do The OU champion improvements in equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)?

Education should be about creating opportunities for everyone.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 451,580 students declared a disability in 2020/21. Given these figures, almost all educators will engage with disabled students as a regular part of their work.

For over 20 years, The Open University has been teaching wholly online courses and supports over 20,000 students with declared disabilities every year.

You’ll benefit from the OU’s world-leading expertise in accessibility practice and research that underpins all of the principles and content covered in this course.

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 subject matter experts.

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

Academic credits from this course can contribute to The Open University’s Masters in Online Teaching.

What skills will you learn?

  • Understand disabled student experiences
  • Choosing platforms and tools
  • Developing policies and processes for accessibility
  • Evaluating accessibility
  • Understand and apply Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • Making accessible online activities and assessments
  • Assistive technologies
  • Respond to accessibility feedback
  • Making accessible learning materials
  • Developing institutional approaches

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Design accessible learning materials and activities for online learning
  • Evaluate the accessibility of websites, online platforms, and interactive tools
  • Reflect on the common challenges and benefits that students with disabilities find with online learning
  • Synthesise understanding of innovations in assistive technology to support learners in new and effective ways
  • Lead and develop effective processes to achieve accessibility in educational institutions which meet legal and policy requirements

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To study for this postgraduate microcredential, you will ideally have:

  • A Bachelors degree or an equivalent level qualification
  • Experience of working with disabled students
  • A strong interest in making teaching inclusive and accessible

While some of the content is related to the technical design of computers and digital resources, you do not have to have substantial technical understanding of computing to take the course.

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, or looking to work in, universities, colleges and further education, and workplace learning settings. It will enhance the employability of:

  • Teachers
  • Trainers
  • Lecturers
  • 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.

This course is highly relevant to those with responsibility for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in their department or institution.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 11 Mar 2024

    Online Teaching: Accessibility and Inclusive Learning

    Understand accessibility and inclusion issues and learn how to design and deliver accessible online learning.

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts. 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.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

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.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Dr Tim Coughlan is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Technology at The Open University, researching the design and evaluation of technologies for inclusion, participation and accessibility in learning.

Kate Lister is a lecturer in education at the Open University and is an expert associate at Advance HE. Her research focuses on disability, accessibility and mental wellbeing in learning.

Dr Simon Ball (he/him) is an Open University tutor and consultant researcher, specialising in inclusive online learning, educational technologies & accessibility, following a PhD in ecology.

I'm currently a Visiting Fellow in the STEM Faculty at the Open University. I have interests in Assistive Technology (AT) and real-world applications of Machine Learning (ML).

Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman leads The Open University's Masters in Online Teaching programme. Her research explores the relationship between equity, social justice, online teaching and open pedagogies.

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?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

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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.