Design and delivery of a Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies

The challenge

In Victoria, Australia, out-of-field teaching is a politicised phenomenon, and, like other national and international contexts, popular and political discourses tend to construct these teachers in deficit terms. Indeed, existing research into out-of-field teaching shows that these teachers commonly construct deficit professional identities, seeing themselves as lacking knowledge and as imposters in the out-of-field subject, despite skills and experience they might bring to the work.

Deakin has partnered with the Victorian Government Department of Education as part of their Secondary Sciences, Technologies, and Mathematics Initiative (SSTM). The Initiative aims to address the critical and ongoing shortage of digital technologies and design and technologies teachers by helping teachers who are already teaching those subjects ‘out of field’ — without formal qualifications — to gain qualifications in teaching digital technologies and design and technologies.

The Initiative offers two Graduate Certificates that will allow out-of-field teachers to build familiarity and confidence in their content knowledge, learn new contemporary approaches to teaching that engage student interest and develop their skills.

Project overview

This research and development project will co-design, develop and implement a blended mode course that responds to the particular needs of out-of-field practicing Digital Technologies teachers.

This project will engineer a novel teaching and learning environment, informed by an new interdisciplinary partnership (between the School of Education and the School of Information Technology at Deakin University), input from diverse stakeholders in digital technologies education (via an Advisory Group and Delphi cycle), formative data collected progressively from teachers who enrol in the course, and decisions made during on-going co-design meetings with the funding body (Victorian Department of Education).

Design-based research methods will be used to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the knowledge/skill needs of contemporary and future teachers of secondary school Digital Technologies curriculum?
  2. What challenges face school leaders and teachers seeking to strengthen Digital Technologies curriculum delivery in schools?
  3. What challenges face school leaders and teachers seeking to increase the uptake of elective and post-compulsory Digital Technologies subjects by school students?
  4. What program design features will best accommodate the needs of out-of-field Digital Technologies teachers returning to study to complete a taught postgraduate credential in this discipline?
  5. What program design features and additional supports will best support increased confidence, agency and educational leadership in out-of-field Digital Technologies teachers as they transition towards ‘in-field’ teaching?


Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies (E521)

Duration: 2 years part-time

This course is designed to support the professional studies of current (and often out-of-field) secondary school Digital Technologies teachers to further their pedagogical content knowledge and skills and to develop their capacity for leadership in this curriculum area in secondary school contexts. The course supports enrolled teachers to develop their knowledge and professional skills in the strands of the Digital Technologies secondary curriculum and to build their professional agency and skills for successful teaching as in-field teachers. It draws on research-informed approaches to digital technologies pedagogies, curriculum and assessment practices, and inclusion and ethics. Graduates of this degree are supported to move into new areas of teaching beyond those recognised through their initial teacher education degree and the course will support them strengthen this curriculum area in their own schools and the schooling sector.


More information

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies

Visit the Victorian Government’s SSTM website to:



digital technologies, teacher professional learning, teacher education