Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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Open course in technology-enhanced learning

The first group of participants has recently completed the Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL), a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), aimed at helping those delivering higher education to make best use of technology.

The ocTEL programme was organised by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and funded by HEFCE and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education through the Innovation and Transformation Fund (note 1).

This is a MOOC in which:

  • course materials were all Open Educational Resources, compiled by teachers and researchers
  • the course was designed, led and supported by ALT members on a voluntary basis, open to all and free to attend
  • learners were encouraged to remix this broad range of material to suit their own goals and participate in the modules most relevant to their practice
  • there was an emphasis on peer learning and peer support — though tutors were also available.

A key innovation was the open platform used for the MOOC. One of the features was the TagsExplorer which provided a view of ocTEL-related questions on Twitter, as well as an experimental visualisation of all tweets. Using this web-based tool, participants could experience the digital interactivity with social media as it happened. 

The materials will remain available for the next few months.


  1. The Innovation and Transformation Fund is a joint initiative of HEFCE and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. It made available £1 million for projects that supported implementation of the recommendations of the review ‘Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education’, chaired by Professor Sir Ian Diamond.

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