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Integrating online technologies into your teaching can be a challenging prospect, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it effectively for the benefit of both students and yourself. No one knows your own content and teaching strengths better than you, and the “one size fits all” formula doesn’t always suit everyone. No matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring or your level of experience, this course will help you draw on your teaching strengths and find the approach that is right for you, your students and your educational context.
This course will guide you through your journey of understanding how online technologies can enhance your course design. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of effective online teaching practices and their relationship to the use of different technologies. You will also be encouraged to progressively design and reflect upon your own online learning activity, assessment or resource for use in your own class if you choose to undertake the course assignments.
Why is Online Teaching Important + Open and Institutionally Supported Technologies
'Module 1: Why is Online Teaching Important' is about understanding where you are in the current educational landscape, and determining where you want to be. We will explore why online teaching is relevant to your teaching practice, and you’ll have an opportunity to reflect upon the opportunities and challenges you face in your own context. 'Module 2: Open and Institutionally Supported Technologies' focuses on helping you understand the benefits and restrictions of both broad categories of technologies. We’re all familiar with different social media technologies, and many of us will be aware of larger institutional online learning systems. In this module we will ask you to think about the reasons why you might want to use freely available online tools for your teaching - or your institution's learning management system. Important considerations such as which types of technologies are suitable for a range of different activities will also be explored.
Planning Online Learning + Online Learning Activities
'Module 3: Planning Online Learning' will explore the importance of planning online learning from a pedagogical perspective rather than a technology driven one. Careful planning is one of the most important aspects of teaching online, and success often depends upon taking the time to consider all of the different aspects of the online learning experience before you begin. The content and activities will explore the concepts of constructive alignment, choosing which aspects of a class are best done online or face-to-face, building digital literacy capabilities within your students, and examining your own motivations for wanting to teach online in the first place. 'Module 4: Online Learning Activities' will identify important considerations you need to keep in mind when developing online learning activities for your students. We will offer advice about how to plan an online activity, and help you think about which may be appropriate for your own students. When you are new to the process, understanding which online technology best supports different learning activities can be daunting. This module, along with a range of case studies, and activities, will explore the relationship between different technologies and specific activities in more depth.
Online Assessment Strategies + Online Resources
'Module 5: Online Assessment Strategies' discusses the notions of formative and summative assessment in online contexts. We will also explore benefits and considerations that you'll need to keep in mind if you're considering adopting an online assessment strategy in your own teaching, and how using technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the assessment process. 'Module 6: Online Resources' discusses the benefits of using open educational resources (OER), and other online resources in your classes. We will also identify issues to be aware of when using resources that you discover, in terms of licensing and Creative Commons. You will be given the chance to explore several examples of online resources via the activities and associated resources for the module. How to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of resources you find online is also explored.
Engaging and Motivating Students + Evaluation Strategies
'Module 7: Engaging and Motivating Students' explores various strategies for engaging and motivating your students in a range of different online learning scenarios. It discusses the important roles that curriculum design, activity structure, the relevance of the chosen technology, and effective time management play in creating an enthusiasm for learning in your students. 'Module 8: Evaluation Strategies' examines the importance of evaluating your online teaching practice to ensure that it is effective, and to give you an opportunity to constantly improve. This is especially important when you are first developing an online teaching practice, or when you are trying something new for the first time. We will explore an evaluation strategy based upon four reflective angles: self reflection, peer observations, student feedback, and theory. The module also introduces the concept of learning analytics as an informative tool to enable up to the minute evaluation of your online class.
Question and Answers
Simon and Negin answered the top questions asked of them in previously run versions of this course via video. Although from previous courses, the questions raised and the discussions that follow, are very relevant, and they may answer some questions that you have about the course. In the videos Simon and Negin, did reference learners' names and the week in the course, but this is not important in this version of the course. These Q&A videos have been collated according to their relevance to the Modules of the course.