Learning to Teach Online
What is the Learning to Teach Online Project?
The Learning to Teach Online project is a free professional development resource designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, to gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations.
Over the last decade, academics Simon McIntyre and Rick Bennett have developed, applied and evaluated award-winning concepts in online pedagogical training including a series of face-to-face Training Programs and Workshops. These have enabled educators from UNSW and other Sydney universities to develop their own new online curricula and teaching practices.
In 2009, COFA Online won funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Competitive Grant Scheme to help improve the perception and application of online learning and teaching pedagogy in a larger tertiary education context through a project called Learning to Teach Online: Developing high-quality video and text resources to help educators teach online. This project will use mainstream and broad-reaching online distribution channels to freely disseminate well designed, practical, easy to apply and pedagogy-focused digital training resources.
How Does the Project Work?
No matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring, the project will inform you of successful pedagogical approaches for improving your online curriculum development; assessment; teaching practice; and evaluation skills. Those wishing to experience and learn about online teaching for the first time, as well as those aiming to improve their existing online teaching practice, will be able to access the full range of digital resources to support and guide them through the process.
The Learning to Teach Online project structure, showing the relationship between the suite of training episodes, the various online dissemination points and the Learning to Teach Online Forum community
The Learning to Teach Online project team will be developing an increasing number of 'bite sized' informative episodes over the next two years to help teachers achieve this. Each episode focuses upon different online pedagogy themes, to enable busy teachers to quickly access tips, examples and straight forward 'how to' documentation about online teaching concepts that are relevant to them.
Each episode comprises a video and an instructive PDF document. The videos explore successful online teaching strategies from disciplines such as art, design, science, maths, medicine, humanities, business, engineering, law and architecture. They also contain reflections from students and teachers on the reality of their online learning and teaching experiences, and most importantly highlight issues or potential problems teachers need to be aware of, offering effective strategies to avoid them. The accompanying ‘how to’ PDF document for each episode outlines the essential knowledge and steps needed to implement the particular online teaching concept being discussed.
How do Teachers use the Resources of this Project?
Episodes are available to anyone around the world for free through the project web site, iTunes U and YouTube. Many instittuions have begun to use the resources in their own educational and professional development programs, and many teachers simply use the resources by themselves when they need information or ideas.