The Master of Professional Practice (Digital Learning), offered only online, gives students the opportunity to get recognition for their prior learning and experience through a combination of professional practice credentialing and coursework.

Associate Professor of Digital Learning at Deakin Tom Apperley says the course is responding to the changing roles of educators in the digital learning age.

“...There are a lot of institutions which are embracing digital learning and there are a lot of professionals which are thinking in this space,” he says.

Apperley points to the rise of online and blended learning course offerings in the educational sector as an example.

“We’re ... looking at a point where these kinds of delivery systems ... have the ability to make education content that [can] reach people on an unprecedented scale.”

The problem is that the professionals working in the space aren’t always what we might think of as ‘teachers’ and ‘lecturers’ .

“At the moment you might think of them as resource managers or instructional designers but ... how we understand these roles is constantly morphing.”

And many can have difficulty getting recognition for their knowledge and experience.

“...The issue is about how to get those people into education...”

Apperley says the masters offers students a novel approach to “optimising their prior learning and workplace experience in order to accelerate [students’] achievements.”

“The key thing that’s innovative about it is [the] form of assessment ... where students have to prove a level of competency in eight different areas: critical thinking, communication, digital literacy, innovation, problem solving, teamwork, self-management and global citizenship.”

“It’s very rigorous,” he says. “Everything that’s submitted is assessed by a panel which includes both academics and industry.”

The Master of Professional Practice (Digital Learning) is offered on a part-time trimester basis and can be completed in two years.