First steps into learning and teaching in higher education (#FSLT)

  • Building on the success of last year’s open online First Steps MOOC (massive open online course), this year this five-week introduction to teaching in higher education will again be run as a MOOC, free and open to all for participation (assessment incurs a fee).

    The course relies on sharing knowledge with your peers, and will leave you better informed about teaching and learning in higher education and confident that you could try out new things. Through the course you may also form and strengthen your professional support network of teachers in higher education.

    This course has been designed around the key principles of autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity. You can choose whether or not to be assessed and the degree to which you engage with the module. The module attracts participants from across the world, who bring with them a wide variety of resources and expertise. Learning across such a distributed group depends on connectivity and frequent interactive communication.

    Aims

    This module is an introduction to teaching and learning in higher education settings, e.g. university, HE in FE, private colleges offering FHEQ level 4 or above courses. The module will: Introduce new lecturers and aspiring lecturers to teaching and professional development in higher education. It will promote, develop and improve academic practice, develop and practice skills in collaboration, social citation and professional reflection. Through the course we will share Oxford Brookes University’s professional development practices and associated resources with the global academic community in order to exemplify good practice in open, autonomous, diverse and interactive professional educational development.

    The module is designed primarily for new university lecturers, PhD students, early career researchers with teaching roles, part time lecturers and other sessional teachers, teaching assistants, or those who support learners in departments such as the library or computer services. Although taught online the course is not particularly ABOUT teaching online. You should leave FSLT better informed about teaching and learning in higher education and confident that you could try out new things and you should also have formed and strengthened a professional support network.

    Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

    • Identify and share key texts in the field of learning and teaching in higher education, and illustrate the personal-professional impact of such texts on your practice
    • Identify, reflect on and critique your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of learning and teaching in higher education
    • Appraise your learning and teaching skills and critically evaluate your professional practice in your local context, identifying your own professional development needs
    • Design, develop and present, online, an evaluation of a learning activity or intervention
    • Recommend appropriate, evidence-based improvements to the learning activities or other interventions (courses) within your context
    • Engage in both collaborative as well as individual professional development practices
    • Apply global perspectives to your work in higher education.

    Teaching, learning and assessment

    The course is designed around frequent opportunities for participants to practise and receive feedback on their professional educational development. The module is based on autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity. You can choose how much to engage. The module is free to participate in (assessment incurs a fee), open to anyone and relies on sharing knowledge. The module attracts participants from across the world, who bring with them a wide variety of resources and expertise. Learning across such a distributed group will depend on connectivity and frequent interactive communication.

    The course will make use of synchronous online classroom meetings, asynchronous discussion forums and intentional social media conversations. Through the course sites (WordPress and Moodle) and through your own blogs and social media identities (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, etc) you will engage with:

    • the First Steps Curriculum,

    • Open academic practice and

    • the Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF)

    It is expected that knowledge will be co-created through active, autonomous participation. Learning will emerge through the interactions around key activities. Through the connections you make in this module, you will

    • Filter, select and gather (aggregate) the information that is meaningful to you,

    • Interpret (remix) this information bringing to it your own perspective and insights,

    • Refashion (repurpose) it to suit your own purpose, and then

    • Share it (feed forward) with other participants, to learn from each other.

    The course provides ample opportunity for formative assessment and feedback. Participants write an initial reflective statement which they receive feedback on from their peers. Participants compile and discuss a collaborative annotated bibliography of key texts in the field. Participants have the opportunity to submit a draft of the summative assignment two weeks before the final due date and receive feedback from peers and the course tutors.