About This University Online Course:
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 or in blended contexts? Would you like to learn from those who have extensive practical experience with online technologies? The Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) MOOC 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 developed by Dr Simon McIntyre and Karin Watson. 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.
The course is eight modules long and is designed to be completed in five weeks.
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
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 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.
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.
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.