It’s not too late to join Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching, a free massive open online course (MOOC) designed for new teachers, those who wish to enhance student learning or teaching practice and emerging leaders in higher education.

You can enrol now.

In a series of posts, I am sharing brief lessons from each of the modules in the MOOC. There are 24 modules in total and 4 possible pathways through the MOOC.

TEL and online learning is Module 4. It is part of the ‘New to teaching’ pathway through the course.

Created by Astrid Davine (Murdoch University) and Clare Lloyd (University of Newcastle), this module focuses on technology enhanced learning (TEL) and online design. It takes an equity-informed approach to online learning.

What is your immediate response to the following statements (based on Rienties et al., 2016)?

  1. I feel comfortable using digital technology in my daily life.
  2. I have experienced digital technologies being used for learning and/or teaching.
  3. I find it easy to get learning technologies to do what I want them to do.
  4. Using learning technologies will enhance my students’ learning.

The current context is more complicated and varied than a few years ago, and “predictions about the post-pandemic future of digital learning vary among higher education scholars. Some foresee dramatic, revolutionary change while others speculate that growth in educational technology will be buffeted both by modest expansion and unevenness… with most envisioning more blended/hybrid instruction post-pandemic and some modest increases in fully online courses” (Guppy et al., 2022, p. 1750).

Amid a wealth of resources for designing, facilitating and evaluating online learning, the key take-away of this module is the importance of teacher presence or having an online teaching persona. Consider how you:

  • set the tone;
  • take the online environment into consideration (context);
  • use sharing as a communication strategy; and
  • use feedback as a communication strategy.

The authors of the module recommend supporting your learning with a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for sounding out ideas and getting feedback and support. Your PLN may be colleagues at your institution, peers involved in the MOOC, former colleagues, conference contacts, or groups you are part of through social media, or networks such as communities of practice, peer review of teaching or mentoring programs. Do you have a PLN?

Need help developing your knowledge, skills and capabilities to follow this advice?

Enrol in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching! The MOOC is free, self-paced and open to all. You can choose to complete just one module, a whole pathway (eg New to Teaching which is 8 modules) or more. Each module takes approximately 2 hours.

Previous posts in this MOOC series:

Banner image: Photo by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Posted by Agnes Bosanquet

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