Current Online Faculty

Learn to Teach Online

  • Are you an educator?
  • Have you ever wanted to understand more about how to design your class to make better use of educational technology – whether fully online, blended and/or in technology-enhanced contexts?
  • Would you like to learn from those who have extensive practical experience with online technologies?

The Learning to Teach Online course will help you develop a working understanding of successful online teaching strategies that you can apply in your own practice. The course is based upon the multi-award winning open educational resource (OER) developed by Dr. Simon McIntyre and Karin Watson who are professors from the University of South Wales, Australia.

This course will guide you through your journey of understanding how online technologies can enhance your course design, even if you are teaching face-to-face classes. 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.

The Learn to Tech Online course is composed of 5 modules:

Module 1: Why is Online Teaching Important

This module 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

This module 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.

Module 3: Planning Online Learning

Module 3 will explore the importance of planning online learning from a pedagogical perspective rather than technology is 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

Module 4 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.

Module 5: Online Assessment Strategies

This module 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

Module 6 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.

Module 7: Evaluation Strategies

This module 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: Engaging and Motivating Students

This module 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.

We encourage you to take full advantage of this FREELY AVAILABLE online course by visiting the Coursera website. You may also want to explore other courses of your interest from the Class Central website at your leisure.

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