First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (FSLT)

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FSLT_course_diagram v2

22 Jan 2014 – 7 Mar 2014

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.

Free to non-assessed participants; £425 for tutor-marked assessment leading to 10 M-level credits

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.


The aims of this module are to develop participants in line with:

  • the OCSLD New lecturers programme,
  • the Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF), and
  • Open academic practice.

The module will

  • Introduce new lecturers and aspiring lecturers to teaching and professional development in higher education;
  • Promote, develop and improve open academic practice within higher education;
  • Develop and practice skills in distributed-collaboration, social citation and professional reflection;
  • Share Oxford Brookes University’s professional development practices and associated resources with the global academic community;
  • Exemplify good practice in open, autonomous, diverse and interactive professional development.


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

  1. 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;
  2. Identify, reflect on and critique your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of learning and teaching in higher education;
  3. Appraise your learning and teaching skills and critically evaluate your professional practice in your local context, identifying your own professional development needs;
  4. Propose, plan and present an evaluation of a learning activity to a virtual (online) conference;
  5. Recommend appropriate improvements to the learning experience within your teaching programme;
  6. Engage in both collaborative as well as individual professional development practices at an appropriate level of academic, digital and research literacy;
  7. Apply global perspectives to your work in higher education.


The topics covered in this course include

  • Supporting learning
  • Constructive alignment
  • Reflective practice
  • Outcomes debate
  • Feedback/feed-forward (assessment for learning)
  • Teaching large groups (lecturing)

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:

  • First Steps Curriculum,
  • Open academic practice and
  • 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.

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