Managing online courses

managing education in the digital ageSo, I am writing a new book, with the excellent and much-more-talented-and-knowledgeable than me, Fiona Thomas ( of this very useful blog ).    It is called, as you have already worked out, “Managing Education in the Digital Age: Choosing, setting up and running successful online courses”, and we are quite excited about it.

You can read all about it and even see a sample chapter (in the section marked “Labs”) here at the website of The Round, which makes us part of a very innovative and exciting new way of publishing.  At that site you will also find that I am listed under the heading of “Creatives”, which is a rather grandiose title where I am concerned, but I may well start using it on my business card.  “Andy Hockley: Creative. “.  But I’d have to ensure people read it as a noun.  I am a creative.  I am not merely creative.

Anyway, in the meantime here is the draft introduction to the book so you can get a sense of what we’re on about.


Managing Education in the Digital Age



Increasingly education is moving into the online world, and a growing body of literature reflects this from the teaching perspective.  Online teaching and learning is now being written about and researched at great length and this work provides valuable support for the educational community practising teaching and learning online.

However, very little has been written aimed at managing this new online educational world, from the perspective of academic (or other) managers in education institutions making the decision to go online and pursuing that through planning, building, marketing, dealing with teachers, and monitoring the whole.

This book, then, attempts to address that gap, and look at the process of managing online course from beginning to end.

We begin with making the decision to go online in the first place, thinking about what might be involved, the risks and other things to be borne in mind.

Section two is focussed on laying the foundations for your online presence – choosing the platform or material that is right for your (and more importantly, your students’) needs; defining the role of the online teachers and tutors; marketing your courses; the finances of online course delivery; setting up quality control mechanisms; and setting up the administrative infrastructure including, but not limited to, technical support.

Finally we will look at the practicalities, keeping everything running, monitoring and ensuring that the courses are progressing as hoped for, as well as obtaining teacher and student feedback, and if necessary acting upon it.  What can be learned and what can be done with the things that we learn from our online course provision?

The chapters will include a lively mixture of suggestions, advice, lessons from experience, case studies, and quotes from managers of such courses.

We hope you find this book useful and engaging, and that it helps you make informed decisions about taking this step in your institution.

Fiona Thomas/Andy Hockley


Hello, again

LAMSIGD04aR04bP01ZL-Jefferson4b_smlTo kick off my efforts to revitalise this blog, I’d like to announce the launch of the new IATEFL LAMSIG (leadership and Management special interest group) webpage. Even if you’re not a member I think there is a lot of interest there, with among others:

  • information about the SIG’s events, including next year’s PCE on “Preventing Academic Manager Burnout” (events>upcoming events)
  • a number of articles from past issues of the newsletter covering all aspects of ELT management (resources>archived articles)
  • photos from our most recent events (community>photos)
  • and others

As part of the new LAMSIG web presence you can also find from that site links to:

The intention is to bring together academic and other managers in ELT to share ideas, questions, problems and best practices.  So, bookmark it!