Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

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Take your teaching online

Week 2: Discovering the connections: principles and theories for understanding digital tools


How do you get started with online teaching? In this week, we will look at some principles that underpin effective online teaching, and how learning theories can inform approaches to teaching. Following this you will be introduced to a categorisation of the technologies used in online teaching. Finally, you will be introduced to the world of learning objects. Pulling all of this together should enable you to start planning what you want to achieve with online teaching.

Teacher reflections

This week we have a clip from Leanne, who tells us about some of the tools and concepts she has found useful in her teaching.

Download this video clip.Video player: tto_1_week2_vid1.mp4
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When I first started creating online learning objects, I was surprised at the amount of time that it took. Compared to my previous face-to-face teaching experiences, I had to dramatically change the way in which I planned for learning opportunities when taking them online. I quickly realised that the ability that you have in class to change the direction and adapt to the needs of learners quickly didn't exist, so much more thought about the different routes that students could take needed to be considered in advance.
Although this felt a little daunting at first, the benefits for students soon became apparent. They could access the learning at a time, location, and pace appropriate to them as individuals. The creation of digital badges is something that has had a particular impact on my teaching practise. After being really motivated when I was awarded some digital badges myself on an online course I was completing, I decided to use them with my students.
In the past I found it difficult to acknowledge and track the progress made by students online when it comes to the acquisition of skills. This was particularly important in my context, as students were studying a practical biology course. By introducing a range of digital badges to represent the various skills developed on the course, students had a way of demonstrating the progress they made.
Creating learning objects can be time consuming initially, but will save you time in the long run. I would recommend for anyone to take their teaching online in this way.
End transcript
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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand some of the essential principles of online teaching
  • be aware of some key learning theories and classifications of online teaching technologies
  • understand the concept of learning objects and some of the different classifications of these.

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