Aug 25, 2012

E-learning and Digital Cultures- Free Course

This course will explore how digital cultures and learning cultures connect, and what this means for e-learning theory and practice.

About the Course:
E-learning and Digital Cultures is aimed at teachers, learning technologists, and people with a general interest in education who want to deepen their understanding of what it means to teach and learn in the digital age. The course is about how digital cultures intersect with learning cultures online, and how our ideas about online education are shaped through “narratives”, or big stories, about the relationship between people and technology. We’ll explore some of the most engaging perspectives on digital culture in its popular and academic forms, and we’ll consider how our practices as teachers and learners are informed by the difference of the digital. We’ll look at how learning and literacy is represented in popular digital-, (or cyber-) culture. For example, how is ‘learning’ represented in the film The Matrix, and how does this representation influence our understanding of the nature of e-learning? 

On this course, you will be invited to think critically and creatively about e-learning, to try out new ideas in a supportive environment, and to gain fresh perspectives on your own experiences of teaching and learning. The course will begin with a ‘film festival’, in which we’ll view a range of interesting short films and classic clips, and begin discussing how these might relate to the themes emerging from the course readings. We will then move on to a consideration of multimodal literacies and digital media, and you’ll be encouraged you to think about visual methods for presenting knowledge and conveying understanding. The final part of the course will involve the creation of your own visual artefact; a pictorial, filmic or graphic representation of any of the themes encountered during the course, and you‘ll have the opportunity to use digital spaces in new ways to present this work. 

E-learning and Digital Cultures will make use of online spaces beyond the Coursera environment, and we want some aspects of participation in this course to involve the wider social web. We hope that participants will share in the creation of course content and assessed work that will be publicly available online.

About the Instructor(s):
This course has been developed collaboratively by a team of experienced teachers and researchers in online education, who run the international MSc in E-learning distance education programme at the University of Edinburgh. It will be led by Jeremy Knox, with contributions from Dr Sian Bayne, Dr Hamish Macleod, Dr Jen Ross and Dr Christine Sinclair. You can find out more about all of them and their work at

Next session: 28 January 2013 (5 weeks long)
Workload: 3-5 hours/wee


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