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New MOOC launched to improve flexible learning experiences as part of QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project

Date: September 27 - 2021

A free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has been developed as part of a QAA Collaborative Enhancement project led by the University of Derby. The MOOC will support providers in the UK and Ireland to design and deliver more flexible online and blended modules, in line with government proposals to introduce a more flexible approach to lifelong learning in the future.

The new resource, which takes just five hours to complete, contains recommendations for improving flexible learning in all modes of study. It has been developed by the University of Derby in collaboration with Derby College, London College and Pearson Learning.

The launch of the MOOC coincides with a call from the Office for Students for short courses to be developed to address the issue of flexible learning.

Paula Shaw, Associate Professor of Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Derby, said: ‘We have well-established digital learning frameworks at Derby, but the past year has forced most universities to adapt to online teaching to engage with their students. With the government’s plan to make lifelong learning more accessible, the sector needs to be ready to provide modules in a variety of formats. Understanding the experiences of staff and students who are already engaged in digital, flexible learning is vital.

‘The course shows you how to digitally integrate all elements of the university experience. This includes access to resources like study skills, library and careers support. It also integrates events such as virtual conferences and guest speakers, which can enrich students’ learning and help to improve outcomes.”

Amrita Narang, Quality Enhancement and Standards Specialist at QAA, said: ‘This Collaborative Enhancement Project has yielded some fantastic outputs. The online Flexible Learning Toolkit is a timely CPD opportunity for the sector that explores students’ experiences during the pandemic and questions what elements of flexibility should be kept as we plan pedagogical approaches for the future.’

You can access the MOOC directly on the University of Derby's website.