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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC5264M Education in a Digital Society

30 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Katharine Stapleford

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

EDUC5257MLearning with Digital Technologies
EDUC5259MTechnology, Education and Society

Module replaces

EDUC5257M Learning with Digital TechnologiesEDUC5259M Learning, Technology and Society

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module you will be introduced to key issues, debates and theories in the areas of digital learning and in society more widely. You will consider the ways that people view digital developments, whether with fear or enthusiasm, and learn what research has to say. You will explore theories of learning that underpin uses of digital tools in education. You will reflect on your own experiences and consider the implications for your own professional context of the theories and debates discussed in this module.


This module will take a critical approach to discourses and debates relating to digital technologies, society and learning. Students will understand a range of theoretical approaches to learning and how these might be realised using digital tools. Students will explore social and cultural aspects of the digital age including the social construction of technology; digital communication and social media; inclusion and access and the impact of technology on children, families and schools.

Learning outcomes
- Critical approach to discourses of digital technology, education and society
- Understanding of theories of learning in relation to digital tools
- Awareness of current debates relating to digital technology, education and society
- Understanding of technology as a social construction


1. Introduction to the module: discourses and debates. Common views about technology, learning and society and how research explores these discourses.

2. The social and economic and political construction of technology: how digital technologies shape and are shaped by society and how our understandings of technology are socially constructed. Political and economic factors influencing the development and implementation of digital technologies.

3. The quantified self: who owns, manages and monitors digital tools and data? What are the implications for individuals and society?

4. From computer-based tutoring to mobile apps: exploring theories behind digital tutoring systems.

5. Communication, dialogue and social media: learning in community; conversational approaches to learning.

6. Making, creating and coding: theories of learning through construction and the role of computing in the curriculum

7. The digital child: growing up with convergent, connected, ubiquitous participative media and the Internet of Things

8. Digital games: from moral panic to gamification.

9. Inclusion, access and the digital divide: the impact of digital technologies on social and educational inclusion

10. Digital government, industrial strategy and digital skills

11. Assessment in the digital age: what are the implications of technology for what is assessed, how and why?

12. Towards the assignment

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning123.0036.00
Independent online learning hours113.00
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours67.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be provided each week with online 'lectures' in written and audio formats together with supplementary readings, material, tasks and activities. Students will also be expected to undertake directed reading of academic papers; to post reviews of these papers on an online discussion forum and to respond to reviews that other students have written.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Each participant will be expected to make a contribution of between 500-1000 words per unit, about a specific topic, in the asynchronous discussion or equivalent. Each person will be expected to contribute to (and occasionally facilitate) the weekly synchronous online seminar. Each student will have two individual tutorials to discuss progress.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectDigital project equivalent to 6000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students will undertake a multimodal digital project in which they explore their own experiences as learners on this module. The project should include audio and/or video (it may be a video presentation) and should relate some of the module topcs/literature to the student's experience of digital education. The students will also be expected to consider how their own personal and professional contexts affect their experiences of learning.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/09/2021


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