Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module EDUC59330: Digital Technologies and Education: Critical Perspectives

Department: Education

EDUC59330: Digital Technologies and Education: Critical Perspectives

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2020/21


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module offers a theoretical and research-based perspective on the effects and impact of digital technologies on education practice. It does so by focusing on four main themes with their indicative context in relation to the sessions in the schedule:
  • Theme One: Debunking assumptions of digital technologies
  • >Contesting metaphors such as 'Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants'; Digital visitors and residents'.
  • >Critiquing simplistic views of teacher and student digital engagement. E.g. resistance vs innovation; likes and dislikes, etc.
  • Theme Two: Critical digital practices
  • >Analysing, critiquing and identifying the gaps in digital literacies frameworks.
  • >Digital citizenship: understanding the impact of knowledge practices within digital network and community.
  • >Curriculum design for a digital, participatory learning culture.
  • Theme Three: Digital inequalities
  • >Considering issues related to gender, social class and ethnicity in online spaces.
  • >Examining digital knowledge practices in the context of the global south.
  • Theme Four: Future trends in digital education
  • >Datafication of educational data.
  • >Ethics and Privacy


Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module successful students will have developed:
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of the effects of digital technologies on different societal contexts (global north and global south);
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of digital technologies in relation to societal issues of economic development, gender and equity, and ex/inclusion;
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of contemporary digital practices and their implications to teaching and learning in different contexts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Critically evaluate literature in the field of digital education;
  • Critique digital education frameworks with the support of key theories;
  • Analyse the issues affecting digital learning from intersectional perspectives;
  • Reflect critically on digital practices and their relationship with education.
Key Skills:
  • Transferable Skills:
  • Engage with academic literature reflectively and critically;
  • Evaluate and engage with different primary and secondary source materials;
  • Develop study skills, information retrieval, and the capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on own learning;
  • Use written and spoken communication skills to develop academic arguments;
  • Participate and communicate effectively in online spaces.

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

  • Structure: Teaching will involve a number of sessions taught via a combination of lectures and seminars. The tutor will introduce key concepts/theories pertaining the topics of he class and invite students to debate the session topic with reference to readings and materials shared for that purpose. All the sessions will rely on interactive participation and critical discussions by the students. Group work activities and discussion will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with the themes and issues covered in the module.
  • Independent Study: Students are expected to spend 300 hours in total on the module. In addition to the taught sessions, students are expected to work independently on each module. This ‘out of class’ work can include readings relevant to the next session, preparation for a discussion or presentation, developing your portfolio, providing and receiving peer feedback.
  • DUO: There is a DUO site associated with this module, and it is essential that you check this site regularly. The site contains important documentation relating to the module and links to useful sources of information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you check DUO regularly for announcements relating to the module. It is important to remember that this system will be used to supplement sessions and not replace them. Thus, students are expected to keep their own files of subject. All assessment announcements (including assessment deadlines) will be available on DUO (section: Assessment).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 1.5 hours 10.5
Seminars 9 2.5 hours 22.5
Preparation & Reading 267
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Class Participation 1 minimum of one critical contribution per session/topic 20% No
Reflective piece 3000 words 80% YES

Formative Assessment:

1. Students will be given guidance on how to participate online, including a reading card to guide critical discussion. The tutor will also have an active participation online, providing guidance and feedback as and when needed. 2. 1-2-1 session with tutors: students will have 1-2-1 10 minute session with the tutor to discuss developments of their reflective essay. Students are expected to submit a one-page outlining the structure of the essay prior to the meeting.

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