Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

Welcome to this badged open course, Take your teaching online.

The free course lasts eight weeks, with approximately three hours of study each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.

Online learning has rapidly emerged and is now found in every area of education, from schools to skills training. More people than ever learn through online courses. Even where teaching is primarily ‘face to face’, online tools and interactions have become a key part of the learning experience.

But teaching online is different. If you work in education or training at any level, you need to develop new skills and understanding in order to make the right decisions, make the most of the opportunities, and overcome common challenges.

It is almost 20 years since The Open University trialled our first fully online course with our students. We are now world leaders in the research and delivery of online education. In this free course, we share the fundamental knowledge needed to deliver effective teaching online.

You will hear about the experiences of real educators, be introduced to cutting edge research, and understand the ideas and tools that shape how we teach and learn online. You will also learn useful methods that will guide you to test out these new ideas in your own practice.

After completing this course, you should be able to

  • Identify the differences between teaching online and teaching in a face-to-face environment.
  • Make informed decisions when choosing new tools and pedagogies for online teaching.
  • Identify major benefits and challenges of teaching online.
  • Understand the changing practices of educators as they make use of online opportunities such as social networks and open educational resources.
  • Understand how to create and evaluate approaches to online teaching that are appropriate for you.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you can find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Course content’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course. Alternatively, use the week links at the top of every page of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

Activities and storing your answers

Throughout Take your teaching online you will be presented with activities which are designed to develop your understanding of the topics and give you the tools for study or work beyond the course. The activities often require you to provide answers, responses or comments in a text box which are then stored within the course itself, only viewable by you. To make the most of the course we also advise that you store your answers together elsewhere (perhaps in a Word document) for ease of access after you have completed the course. We recommend that you transfer the answers to your own journal as you complete each week of study.

All your answers to activities are also collated in Your notes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] at the end of Week 8.

Cited works

This course cites a wide range of educational research and in many cases this work is freely available either via the links provided or via copies made available online, which can be found through search engines such as Google Scholar. In some cases there will be cited works such as books and journals that have a cost to access them. However, it is not necessary to read these cited works in order to complete the course.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371