Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module EDUC40220: Fundamentals of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Department: Education

EDUC40220: Fundamentals of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap
Tied to X1K018


  • Successful completion of the induction programme for postgraduate and part-time teachers and support staff with a teaching role.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The purpose of the programme is to support early career researchers engaged in teaching, supporting learning, and assessment and part-time teachers to develop and enhance their practice and enable them to align it with Standard Descriptor 1 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education.
  • The course then seeks:
  • to provide participants with the opportunity to critically reflect upon, evaluate, and develop their professional expertise as teachers at Durham in the light of good practice and scholarship and research in teaching and learning;
  • to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to teach appropriately and to support student learning which takes account of and responds positively to the diversity of the student population;
  • to provide a pathway to becoming an Associate of the Higher Education Academy;
  • to enhance the quality of the student learning experience at Durham.


  • In terms of content, the programme will consist of:
  • (i) designing and planning learning activities;
  • (ii) teaching appropriately and supporting student learning;
  • (iii) assessing student learning and giving feedback;
  • (iv) developing effective learning environments and supporting and guiding students.
  • Each of these will be underpinned by the key themes of:
  • integrating scholarship, research, and professional activities with teaching and learning;
  • blending different types of learning opportunities, including the use of appropriate technologies;
  • personal reflection, evaluation, and improvement.
  • An international dimension will be included through incorporation of relevant materials in workshops and by utilising the international experiences of facilitators and participants in workshop discussions.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Successful participants should be able to demonstrate:
  • A Knowledge and understanding of:
  • (i) relevant subject material in their fields;
  • (ii) appropriate methods for teaching and supporting learning in their fields;
  • (iii) how students learn, both generally and in their subjects;
  • (iv) the use of appropriate technologies to support learning;
  • (v) how to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching;
  • (vi) the implications of quality assurance and enhancement for their professional practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Skills and abilities to undertake at least four activities drawn from the list below, which must include (v) and (vi) :
  • (i) design and plan learning activities;
  • (ii) teach appropriately and to support student learning;
  • (iii) assess student learning and give feedback;
  • (iv) develop effective learning environments and support and guide students;
  • (v) integrate scholarship, research, and professional activities with teaching and supporting learning;
  • (vi) evaluate their practice and plan continuing professional development
Key Skills:
  • The values of:
  • (i) respect for individual learners;
  • (ii) commitment to incorporating relevant research, scholarship and professional practice in their teaching;
  • (iii) commitment to the development of learning communities;
  • (iv) commitment to encouraging participation in higher education, acknowledging diversity, and promoting equality of opportunity;
  • (v) commitment to evaluating practice and to continuing professional development.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The programme will be delivered by a combination of e-Learning, face-to-face workshops, learning sets, mentoring, and private study.
  • The course will include 7 initial workshops which will be facilitated by the course team and cover in outline the whole range of outcomes set out above. Mentoring will be used to support the outcomes set out in B and C, while the professional groups will support those in C an optional 8th workshop wll focus on finalizing the assessed work.
  • e-Learning will be used to show students the effective use of learning technology (A(iv)), to enable them to develop effective learning environments and support and guide students (B(iv)), and as fora for ongoing and timely group discussion, individual and group reflection (B(vi) & C(iv)).
  • The course as a whole will be supported through the online learning environment (DUO). The DUO site will include handouts, presentations, support materials, educational newsfeeds (including feeds from the Academy), examples of online learning (tutorials and quizzes), and discussion fora. Students will have the opportunity to keep an online learning journal to document their teaching in order to inform their portfolios, and be able to produce the latter online.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Initial Workshops 7 1.5 hours 10.5
Professional groups 7 1 hour 7
Self-study 182.5
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio 100%

Formative Assessment:

Participants will be asked to draft relevant parts of the portfolio in advance of workshops, where they will receive feedback from fellow-participants and from the programme facilitators.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University