Online Postgraduate Teaching: Re-Discovering Human Agency

Gill Aitken, Sarah Hayes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


In this chapter, we challenge the current focus on the income generating potential of online postgraduate programmes, arguing that more attention should be given to the value of the education that occurs. High quality programmes in which learning communities develop require the input of creative and innovative educators. The input and agency of these individuals is largely obscured by the wording in institutional policy and promotional materials. We offer a critique of some recent academic strategies before discussing the changing role of academic labour amongst those contributing to online postgraduate programmes. Teaching online requires a diverse skillset and the adaptability to straddle traditional academic roles and more commercial aptitudes. This is a high-pressured environment where online programmes operate in an increasingly global market, and even high-quality programmes are in a constant state of innovation and evolution. We call for a clearer articulation of the positionality of educators in policy documents. Through greater acknowledgment of the agency of educators and students, we increase their visibility and foreground postgraduate education as a means of developing new knowledge and insights, and eroding traditional boundaries between academic and professional spheres.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnline Postgraduate Education in a Postdigital World
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-77673-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NamePostdigital Science and Education
ISSN (Print)2662-5326
ISSN (Electronic)2662-5334


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