Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module EDUC59630: Fundamentals of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Department: Education

EDUC59630: Fundamentals of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9K814


  • 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 higher education professionals and early career researchers engaged in teaching, supporting learning, and assessment and part-time or fixed-term higher education teachers to develop and enhance their practice and enable them to align it with 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, behaviours, 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 inclusive teaching dimension will be included through incorporation of relevant materials in workshops and by utilising the experiences of facilitators and participants in workshop discussions.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Successful participants should be able to demonstrate:
  • In-depth Knowledge, understanding and critical awareness 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) incorporating relevant research, scholarship and professional practice in their teaching; (iii) commitment to the development of learning communities;
  • (iv) encouraging participation in higher education, acknowledging diversity, and promoting equality of opportunity;
  • (v) 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 8 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 9th workshop will focus on finalizing the assessed written work.
  • The module is aimed at different target groups who will normally be taught separately: early career researchers/PGR students with some teaching responsibilities; early career academics on temporary contracts with considerable teaching responsibilities; participants predominantly based outside Durham City. Delivery modes will take the nature and availability of these groups into account by varying the proportion of face-to-face, blended and entirely on-line learning opportunities, while achievement of the same learning outcomes will be supported throughout, regardless of delivery mode and teaching methods.
  • 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.
  • An oral presentation/micro-teaching session is also used an assessment, with an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and gain feedback. Opportunities for formative development will take place before the summative assessment.
  • Work will not be graded; judgements are pass-fail.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 8 2.5 Hours 20
Professional Groups 8 1 Hours 8
Self Study 272
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written portfolio 3000 words 90% yes
Oral Presentation/Micro-Teaching 10 Minutes 10% yes

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. Participants will be given opportunities to practice oral presentations as required.

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