Topic outline

  • General

    • Welcome to this short course on "Teaching in a Digital Age".

      We recommend you to do the following, before taking the course:

      • Create an account and log in to the course to take the test;
      • Read the course introduction carefully;
      • Watch the videos in each of the lessons (as many times as you want);
      • Take a critical perspective for adopting online/blended learning;
      • Apply your new learning to your own context;
      • Wherever possible, discuss opportunities and challenges with colleagues; 
      • Practice the "Knowledge Check", as many times as possible; 
      • Take the final test, when you are ready;
      • Download the certificate (appears as pop-up, and thus your browser should be pop-up enabled); and
      • Please complete the "Course Completion Survey" to provide feedback.
      If you have any question, please send email to

  • Introduction

    Dr. Tony Bates “Teaching in a Digital Age” provides theoretical as well as practical tips to improve the quality of teaching and learning in campus-based, blended, or fully online learning environments. This short course offered by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is based on the highly popular book “Teaching in a Digital Age” by Dr. Tony Bates, online learning Guru and author of eleven books in the field of online learning and distance education. He has provided consulting services specializing in training in the planning and management of online learning and distance education, working with over 40 organizations in 25 countries. Tony is a Research Associate with Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network.

    On the request of COL, Dr. Bates prepared 12 video lectures around his book, Teaching in a Digital Age. These videos were recorded using online tools and prepared during the COVID19 crisis. While these videos are available on YouTube, we used these to create a course for giving an experience of a micro-learning course. 

    Since you have chosen to go through this course, we suggest you read this section carefully. In this course,  you will get an overview of the skills needed in the digital age, methods of teaching and learning, choice of media for teaching online, quality issues in online learning, theories of learning, trends in open learning, open educational resources (OER), massive open online courses (MOOCs) and emerging technologies, such as AR/VR, among others. While the book covers in depth on many of these topics, this course is primarily based on the videos and interactive quizzes to provide an orientation and to encourage you to go through the resources and work on the activities.

    Please Note: While we have used the videos of Dr. Tony Bates and his open textbook as the resources for this course, the presentation is not necessarily endorsed by him. The presentation and design of the course have been done by Dr. Sanjaya Mishra, Education Specialist, eLearning at Commonwealth of Learning. This is an example of  rapid online learning using open educational resources. The approach adopted here is simple and test. We encourage you to adopt more collaborative and discussion oriented approach while developing courses for a specific cohort.  

    Course Objectives

    Upon completion of this course, you are expected to be able to:

    • Understand the nature of the knowledge that results in different approaches to teaching
    • Decide on whether your courses should be face-to-face, blended or fully online using the science and research on teaching
    • Understand the changing demographics of learners in the digital age and design courses and learner support according to their needs
    • Apply the best strategies when teaching in a technology-rich environment
    • Use the most effective methods of teaching for blended and online classes
    • Make choices among all the available media, whether text, audio, video, computer, or social media, in order to benefit your students and the subject you teach
    • Maintain high quality in teaching in a rapidly changing learning environment while managing your workload
    • Explore the possibilities for teaching and learning using MOOCs, OER, open textbooks
    • Consider the use of emerging technologies, wherever possible

    Course Progress and Certificate

    Kindly note that this is a self-paced course and there is no specific support. In order to complete the courses, we suggest you to do the following:

    • Watch the videos (12) carefully (as many times as you like) embedded in the beginning of each of the lessons
    • Attempt the Knowledge Check Questions in each of the 12 lessons
    • Complete the Final Test

    Those who receive 80% on average of all the 12 lesson Knowledge Check Exercises and the Final Test shall be eligible to receive a Certificate.

    Optional Activities

    We have reused the texts from the book – Teaching in a Digital Age (available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International Licenses) to help your further read and learn. While this is optional, we strongly recommend you to do so, and also attempt the activities, wherever they are. 

    Course Contact

    If you have any concern or question about this course, please send email to