Module code: GCAM018

Module Overview

In this module, participants will have the opportunity to explore key issues related to digital learning and develop a critical awareness of the roles and impacts of digital technologies and pedagogies in their professional practices.

The higher and professional education sectors have evolved, and there is a growing appetite for embracing more critical and mature perspectives on digital education.

Participants will delve into contemporary literature, emerging trends, and fresh perspectives, transcending traditional narratives that view digital technologies merely as supplements to learning and teaching, or as driven by technological innovation.

This module aims to empower participants to cultivate a critical, comprehensive, and forward-looking understanding of theory and practice in digital education.

Participants will be encouraged to investigate the underlying purpose of digital education, engaging in thoughtful reflection and examination of their own professional practices and aspirations within the broader context of education and its future directions. Through engaging in debates and interacting with research, participants will be prompted to position the 'digital' within the context of education futures. This lens can offer valuable insights into contemporary themes and envisioning potential future practices.

This module will engage participants in active, collaborative and inquiry-led learning opportunities, to explore a range of perspectives, frameworks, and case studies. A significant part of the module will be shaped by the participants themselves as they will be guided to choose a personally identified education futures scenario and analyse its potential implications for their own practice and for other key stakeholders practices. Participants and the teaching team will learn from each other and will engage in discussions to define desirable education futures.

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

REES Roger (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 2

Guided Learning: 30

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:  

Sensitisation to the key issues and new trends in digital education. 

Theoretical underpinning in digitally mediated learning and teaching. 

Exploration of diverse perspectives to encourage participants to take a critical view of digital education (e.g. sociocultural lenses, postdigital perspectives, social change, complexity theories etc.). 

Defining education futures and exploring future-looking methods and thinking.

Case studies of innovative practice in digital education. Topics that may be explored (according to participants interests and contemporary themes) include game-based learning, AI in Education, computer-supported collaborative learning, digital storytelling, social media, learning and teaching modalities, and microcredentialing.  

Key principles and approaches to designing digital educational resources.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Position paper for a personally identified education futures scenario 25
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Development of a digital educational resource on an education futures scenario of participants choice 75

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.

The summative assessment for this module consists of: 

Position paper for a personally identified education futures scenario (LO1  LO2) Participants will select and education futures scenario or theme that is linked to their own interests, aspirations and practice. They will then write a short position paper to briefly explain the scope and rationale for choosing this scenario and how it may connect with and impact their practice and that of other key stakeholders, such as students, educators, interdisciplinary professionals, and policy-makers. This assessment is connected with, and will inform, the second summative assessment.   

Development of a digital educational resource on an education futures scenario of participants choice (LO1 - LO4) Participants will design and develop a digital educational resource on an education futures scenario based on their position paper (assessment one). They will critically analyse, evaluate, synthesise and present a range of theoretical, policy and practice-based resources and literature in relation to their identified education future scenario. They will identify who is the target audience of this educational resource and articulate the different educational opportunities, challenges and potential impact of this scenario on multiple stakeholders. This assessment consists of two parts: (1) the digital educational resource on the selected education scenario, and (2) a reflective commentary on the processes participants followed to construct this educational resource, the feedback they received by their peers and the teaching team (presentation) and their learning from engaging with peers¿ digital educational resources. The digital educational resource can include a range of interactive elements, including but not limited to, text, audio, video, visual and creative representations and combinations of those.

Formative assessment:

This module will include a main formative assessment task in which participants will be asked to select a digital technology/educational application of their choice to critically evaluate. They will be provided with a framework to guide the evaluation process and focus on key elements. Participants may choose to develop a short video, a presentation or a visual representation as part of this formative assessment. Subsequently, they will present their work to their peers and the teaching team in a seminar and receive feedback. This formative assessment task serves as a foundation before participants progress on to design a digital educational resource. 

Formative feedback:

Participants will receive ongoing verbal and written formative feedback from peers and the teaching team throughout the module. They will actively engage in a variety of guided learning tasks that are designed to directly feed into their summative assessments. They will share their work in seminars and digital learning spaces as an opportunity to learn from each other and expand their thinking on various education future scenarios that will have been self-selected. The approach of the module is participatory and collegial; therefore, all activities and interactions enabled through this module will support participants¿ continuous feedback on new ideas, applications, dilemmas, and practice challenges. They will be provided with one-to-one support by the teaching team as per participants¿ individual needs. Importantly, participants will receive tutor feedback in assessment part 1 which they can then apply in assessment part 2 to further enhance their digital learning resource. They will also have the opportunity to present their work in progress with their peers and receive feedback which they can apply in their second summative assessment.

Module aims

  • Engage participants with multiple perspectives and a range of key themes in digital education
  • Familiarise participants with current learning technologies in use within education settings and enable them to develop a critical understanding and experience of the role of technology on their own practices
  • Investigate theoretical, political and pedagogical issues which shape digital education
  • Support participants in identifying, questioning and reframing common assumptions about the relationship between education, technology and the future
  • Explore potential educational futures scenarios on the horizon and consider their implications for higher and professional education and multiple stakeholders¿ practice
  • Encourage participants to position their own practice and aspirations in relation to the contemporary landscape and potential futures of digital education

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify and critically discuss current issues and emerging trends related to digital education considering diverse theoretical, social, political, technological and pedagogical perspectives. CKPT
002 Examine and position practices and aspirations concerning the current state and potential future developments of digital education in own teaching contexts. CKPT
003 Conduct an in-depth investigation of a personally identified education futures scenario and analyse its potential impact on and implications for their own practice and multiple stakeholders. CKPT
004 Demonstrate practical skills and digital capabilities in the deployment of digital technologies for learning and teaching purposes. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: Enable participants to investigate a range of contemporary literature, theoretical frameworks, innovative pedagogical possibilities, and challenges in digital education within higher and / or professional education. Participants will reflect on their current understanding, values, dilemmas, and practices and will be supported to develop their own critical position in relation to digital education and education futures themes.

Participants will not only be enabled to develop a theoretical understanding of digital education but will also create a digital educational resource on an education futures theme of their choice. Therefore, this module will empower participants to develop their digital capabilities further. This module adopts a flipped learning approach. This means that participants will engage with readings and activities in their independent study time to allow flexibility and deep engagement. Synchronous seminars will offer a platform for participants to come together as a community of practice, reflect on the module content, exchange their experiences, and participate in further individual and collective activities to expand their learning. The first part of the module will consist of exploration and engagement with resources and activities supporting participants to familiarise and position themselves in relation to current tools, pedagogies and practices in digital education. The framework introduced to support this exploration will encourage a critical approach and scaffold learning in the remainder of the module. The second part of the module will be participant-led. Participants will carry out an in-depth investigation of a personally significant education futures scenario, including analysis of its potential implications for their own practice and those of other key stakeholders. This module strikes a balance between fostering individual experimentation and exploration of personalised 'education futures' scenarios, driven by each participant¿s unique interests and aspirations, while providing opportunities for mutual learning and exposure to various themes and issues within the realm of education futures.

The learning and teaching methods include: 

Guided learning through watching videos, reading articles, exploring resources, and completing scaffolded tasks that facilitate the application of theory to participants digital education practice and aspirations contribute to their development in relation to the assessments. 

Seminars that engage participants in various learning activities such as analysis of case studies, sharing reflections and challenges, presentations, and whole and small group discussions on key topics and each participant's education future scenario. These activities encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas, drawing from the diverse perspectives and experiences within the participant group.

Independent research and study, encouraging participants to identify personally relevant themes, deepen their knowledge, work independently, and engage in reflection and self-evaluation of their practice.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GCAM018

Other information

The MA in Higher and Professional Education is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Resourcefulness and Resilience, and Sustainability.

This module is designed to allow participants to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities: Participants will critically evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of digital technologies and pedagogies within their teaching and learning environments. They will gain insight into current trends in digital education and explore 'education future' scenarios, such as AI in higher education, microcredentials, and hybrid learning, individually and in groups. They will be supported to develop critical and more mature perspectives on digital education moving away from earlier narratives around the use of technology to supplement learning and teaching, or the technological innovation and determinism to digital education that may be overoptimistic on the role of technology for learning and teaching. Importantly, as part of their summative assessment, participants will create a digital educational resource. This process will empower them to not only reflect on and discuss critically about their identified education future scenario, but also gain a profound understanding of the intricacies involved in designing and developing digital learning resources. Through this hands-on experience, they will develop expertise in content creation, learning design, user experience, and technology integration, thereby honing their ability to tailor digital resources to the specific needs of their learners and the evolving demands of the educational landscape. Additionally, they will harness collaborative tools to capture and share group ideas and outputs, facilitating a holistic development of their digital capabilities.

Sustainability: In this module, participants will select an education future of their choice (e.g., artificial intelligence, hybrid learning, justice-driven innovation). By using anticipatory (future-looking) and critical thinking they will unpack the potential impact of their selected education future scenario to their own practice, but also to (higher) education institutions, policies, students and the wider sector. To this end, this module can enable participants development of novel thinking and sustainability-focused competencies for defining desirable education futures and working backwards to identify policies and programmes that will connect that to the present. Participants will also be prompted to identify emerging practices that may be less desirable and promising for sustainable educational futures.

Employability: This module enhances employability by equipping participants with valuable skills and attributes sought by employers in the field of education and aligned with relevant frameworks such as those of the World Trade Organization (WTO) future skills agenda. These specifically include effective communication, research and analysis skills, project management, collaborative work, digital literacy with a focus on digital education, ethical awareness and self-directed learning. The assessment strategy for the module will also support the development of the critical reflective capacity of participants which will enhance their employability. The digital educational resource they will develop as part of this can also act as a showcase for future employment or promotion applications.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Throughout this module, participants will be encouraged to develop their capacity to adapt and respond proactively to new, emerging and complex circumstances, such as new educational and technological developments, while recognising diverse stakeholder needs and perspectives. The assessment strategy will prompt participants to examine their own professional practices and aspirations reflectively and critically, as well as to position these within the broader context of digital education and its potential future directions. Participants will share and discuss their ideas and their development with their peers and the teaching team to further encourage critical reflective practice, collaboration and resourcefulness.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Higher and Professional Education MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.