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Evaluating Courses

Online Teaching: Evaluating and Improving Courses


Design and use evaluation strategies to improve your online teaching

The COVID-19 pandemic required many organisations and individuals to swiftly move their teaching online. The impact of this ‘online pivot’ is predicted to have significant long-term consequences for the affected learners, deepening inequalities and compromising individuals’ life chances. As such, the importance of finding out what works for you and your learners whilst delivering online courses is vital, especially as variations of the ‘lockdown’ strategy are likely to be with us for some time.

Having moved to remote teaching and learning, you’ll need to take stock and investigate the many factors that can limit and enhance the success of online learning and technology enhanced learning (TEL).

This microcredential will equip you with the skills you need to evaluate and improve your online courses. You'll be able to utilise your evaluation findings to build and enhance your online teaching, apply the knowledge and skills you develop directly to your own practice setting, and draw on peers’ experiences as part of your learning journey.

Designed for individual educators and trainers as well as learning institutions, this course will support you to ensure the ongoing success of your online courses and TEL provision, whatever your sector.

Key features

  • Delivered in partnership with the worldwide online learning platform, FutureLearn
  • Created by distance learning experts in The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
  • Develop skills to immediately improve your online teaching, courses and learner experiences
  • Opportunity to gain postgraduate-level academic credit in just 12 weeks of study.

Course summary

Study level
OU – Postgraduate
SCQF – 11
FHEQ – 7
12 weeks | 13 hours per week
Next start dates
15 March 2021
28 June 2021

What you’ll learn

Designed for individual educators and trainers as well as learning institutions, this microcredential will support you to ensure the ongoing success of your online courses and technology-enhanced learning (TEL) provision, whatever your sector.

Harness the power of technology-enhanced learning (TEL)

Whilst the use of technology for teaching and learning isn’t new, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen organisations and individuals move courses and teaching online at unprecedented speed. For some, implementation has been so quick that it’s not evidence informed.

As variations of the lockdown strategy are likely to remain for some time, technology-enhanced learning and online teaching skills are more in-demand than ever before.

This course will support you to create an ethical course evaluation framework, analyse cause and effect relationships in your findings, share appropriate insights with stakeholders, and ultimately improve the impact of your online courses.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your online teaching

By determining the most effective ways of making online learning and assessment work for your students and making remote teaching work for you, you can minimise the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on student learning.

This microcredential will help you to pinpoint the factors limiting and enhancing your courses and teaching, and enable you to use these insights to build upon and enhance your online teaching provision.

You’ll be encouraged to apply the knowledge and skills you develop to your own setting and to draw on peers’ experiences as part of your learning journey.

On this microcredential, you’ll cover topics including:

  • the need for evaluation
  • what evaluation might cover
  • how to plan an evaluation
  • how to choose an evaluation framework appropriate to your context
  • how to select appropriate data collection techniques appropriate to your context
  • how to analyse cause and effect relationships
  • how to conduct ethical and equitable evaluation
  • the relationship between evaluation, benchmarking and quality assurance
  • how to conduct a stakeholder analysis and include stakeholders in the evaluation process
  • how to disseminate evaluation findings.

By the end of the course, you’ll have learnt how to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the reasons for evaluating teaching
  • draw on key theories to identify and assess a range of evaluation approaches and frameworks and their appropriateness for specific settings
  • design evaluation strategies that are suitable for your technology-enhanced learning (TEL), and which meet the needs of diverse stakeholders
  • show understanding of the ethical considerations involved in educational evaluation and how they can be managed
  • share knowledge of how evaluation findings can be disseminated to meet diverse stakeholders’ needs.

This microcredential is part of a planned suite of courses addressing aspects of online education.


The course allows you to immediately apply the skills developed to your own practice.

Throughout your study, you’ll develop your own evaluation plan. You’ll be encouraged to share this plan with other students in order to gain feedback.

At the end of the course, you’ll submit this plan, accompanied by a reflective commentary, for assessment.

Professional relevance

This microcredential will help institutions and individuals evaluate the effectiveness of their online teaching, to ultimately build upon and improve their online courses. It is particularly relevant if you have had to start teaching remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The microcredential is relevant to learners around the world. It would particularly benefit anyone currently working or looking to work in universities, colleges or wider adult learning settings as a:

  • teacher
  • trainer
  • learning designer
  • educational technologist
  • head of department
  • institution leader.

On completion

You’ll receive an Open University certificate confirming that you have received 15 academic credits at postgraduate level 7. Credits are awarded on passing the final assessment.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.




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