Are you looking for quality, flexible and comprehensive professional development and resources for online teaching?

The Online Learning Design for Educators series of courses available through the Coursera platform has it all.

With the shift to new and innovative teaching models in recent times, this suite of courses will assist educators in engaging learners in inquiry, collaboration and learning online, and deepen their understanding of the challenges in the online environment, and how that impacts their role in facilitating learning.

Jada Bennett, Learning Designer, Macquarie School of Education

Quality: Designed and delivered by MQ education experts

Although developed by the Macquarie School of Education you’ll also see contributions from subject matter experts from all across MQ – a true collaboration and pooling of expertise!

Flexible: Choose how and when to access

  • Self-paced – work through the course at your own pace
  • Free for all MQ staff
  • Enrol in just a single course or complete 3 courses in the specialisation
  • Receive a digital certificate if you complete all 3 courses that make up the specialisation
  • Short on time? Then enrol anyway to audit and view the materials at any time.

Comprehensive information and resources

The specialisation comprises 3 courses:

  1. Online Education: The Foundations of Online Teaching
  2. Create Video, Audio, and Infographics for Online Learning
  3. Online Teaching: Using Zoom to Connect with Learners

All accompanied by extensive resources including videos, readings, podcasts and practical sessions

Teaching online presents fantastic opportunities for those willing to have a go. That’s not a quote from me but from one of the fifteen fantastic educational podcasts sprinkled throughout the Online Learning Design for Educators specialisation.

Billy Bruce – Lead Learning Designer, Macquarie School of Education

Top 10 takeaways from the course

Professor Garry Falloon from Macquarie’s School of Education was one of the contributors to the three-course Specialisation. Here he provides his top ten tips for online learning success from the course.

1) Create opportunities for learners to collaborate

Project or problem-based models are great for this, where students are presented with an age appropriate ‘real world’ scenario and need to work together to research, develop, present and defend a solution to it. While they can work asynchronously in teams on these, presentation and justification of solutions can be synchronous. Learning designs of this nature promote independence and higher order thinking – valued life competencies.

Teachers need to be prepared to monitor teams closely and formatively to ensure outcomes of high quality are generated, and students held accountable for these. Accountability is critical.

2) Partner with your learners to create ‘active engagement’

Encourage your students to become active in their learning by designing tasks that are motivating and allow students to construct and build content knowledge together of relevance to them, rather than just passively respond to PDF worksheets posted online.

3) Be mindful of the cognitive load for your learners

Some students may feel overwhelmed and/or anxious by the change in routine caused by remote learning. Breaking things down into short, simple step-by-step tasks and using visuals or a video to explain new concepts can help.

4) Provide feedback to your learners

Individual feedback is even more important when teaching remotely to help minimise feelings of isolation. Take time to provide your learners with meaningful and timely feedback.

5) Create opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learning

Teachers need to be ‘highly present’ – both in asynchronous and synchronous tasks. The more the teacher engages, the more the students will engage.

6) Learn how to use your learning management system or other tools to connect with learners

Spend time to develop your skills in whatever platform your school or organisation uses.

7) Create or curate

There are many resources already available – decide if they can address your need before you decide to create something entirely new. Save time and energy!

8) Discuss and share your audio, video and infographic prototypes with a colleague

Remote learning is new for many teachers so share and discuss your questions, concerns and ideas with your colleagues. They may have a video or infographic that has resonated with students that you can use or can provide feedback on something you’ve created.

9) Be vulnerable and transparent, share your learning when it comes to online teaching with your students

Remote learning is new for most – teachers and students alike. Sharing wins and misses is a great way to bond over this challenging time.

10) Be mindful that learning can occur online and offline, so plan accordingly, support learners to be agile, flexible, and responsive in developing their knowledge and understanding

Every student learns differently so providing a supportive, flexible environment is important. It is also imperative to remember that each student has a different remote learning environment – wi-fi connection, access to devices and space to work can vary greatly between students, and impact in different ways on their ability to learn.

Enrol for free if you are MQ staff

The Online Learning Design for Educators specialization is for anyone who is responsible for designing and/or delivering online learning experiences, as well as educators and teachers who are familiar with face-to-face learning and teaching and are now adapting to online environments.

MQ staff can register for free via the Coursera for Macquarie Dashboard.

See also This Week article introducing Online Learning Design for Educators.

Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

Posted by L&T Development

The Learning and Teaching Staff Development team works with staff across the University to ensure they are supported to facilitate quality learning for students. This includes offering professional development, contributing to curriculum and assessment design, recognising and rewarding good practice, supporting peer review of teaching, and leading scholarly reflection. Email professional.learning@mq.edu.au with questions or requests.

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