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CDE Resources

The Centre for Distance Education (CDE) is a University of London initiative to support the development of expertise in the field of distance/online/digital/e-learning/technology supported learning. See our available resources below.

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Available resources

This book chapter by Dr David Baume, CDE Fellow, and Eileen Scanlon, Open University Regius Professor, is based on earlier work by David with CDE Fellows Professor Alan Tait and the late Dr Roger Mills.

It identifies seven conditions for effective learning:

  1. A clear structure, framework, scaffolding surrounds, supports and informs learning;
  2. High standards are expected of learners, and are made explicit;
  3. Learners acknowledge and use their prior learning and their particular approaches to learning;
  4. Learning is an active process;
  5. Learners spend lots of time on task, that is, doing relevant things and practising;
  6. Learning is undertaken at least in part as a collaborative activity, both among students and between students and staff; and
  7. Learners receive and use feedback on their work.

Baume, D. and Scanlon, E. (2018). What the research says about how and why learning happens. In: R. Luckin, ed., Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology - What the Research Says, 1st ed. London: UCL IoE Press, pp.2-13.

A workbook (warning: large file, 2094 KB) prepared for the National Universities Commission for Nigeria by Dr David Baume and Professor Stephen Brown. The workbook was designed to underpin a three-day practical workshop delivered in Abuja, Nigeria, 3-5 July 2018. The workbook is freely available to download under a Creative Commons BY NC SA licence.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Get Interactive: Practice Teaching with Technology, is a three-week exploration of some of the popular technologies that educators use to make their learning engaging, interactive and dynamic. It is aimed at educators who have little experience using online tools and technology for teaching purposes but who have basic familiarity with the Internet, online learning environments and computers in general. The course is most relevant for teachers, lecturers and instructors of adults and older children (i.e., secondary school, college, further education, higher education, continuing education).

The course is taught by: 

Dr Eileen Kennedy, Researcher in online learning, UCL Institute of Education

Dr Nancy Weit, Digital learning specialist, Architela

Sarah Sherman, Manager, Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) (CDE Fellow)

It is free to take this MOOC, however there is fee of £39, payable on the course site if you would like to receive a course completion certificate.

This book chapter by Dr David Baume, CDE Visiting Fellow, and Eileen Scanlon, Open University Regius Professor, builds on an earlier chapter, What the research says about how and why learning happens. It relates the seven conditions for effective learning to the Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework and thereby offers  a concise account of good learning for the digital world.

Baume, D. and Scanlon, E. (2018). A contemporary digital capabilities framework. In: R. Luckin, ed., Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology, 1st ed. London: UCL IoE Press, pp.150-153.


This open access e-book, was co-edited by Sarah Sherman, CDE Fellow and Service Manager of the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) and Leo Havemann, UCL, as the culmination of a two-year focus on assessment and feedback. The e-book contains three research papers, which capture macro-level snapshots of current practice across the BLE partner institutions, as well as a wide range of pedagogic and technical case studies. The book chapters, which were contributed by academics, learning technologists, administrators and consultants, bring a variety of perspectives to the topic. The collection therefore offers an overview of current assessment practices, and some inspiration and ideas for making better use of technology.

Download the free e-book.