Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Take your teaching online

Week 7: Making a change in your teaching


Described image
Figure 1 Planning and understanding changes connected with online learning

We hope that this course might make you think of ideas for changes in your work practices. Or perhaps you are taking this course because you are already experiencing change! This week focuses on some concepts that can help you to plan or understand changes connected with online learning. You need to consider the needs of your learners with respect to their approach to technology, and how the technology and pedagogy interrelate. Understanding debates around how people use digital technology and the effects it has on them should help you to think about how you can effectively combine technology and pedagogy. We then focus on designing new or revised learning activities, and identify some tips to use when trying to make a change.

Teacher reflections

This week we hear from Sarah S. about how she made a change in her teaching:

Download this video clip.Video player: tto_1_week7_vid1.mp4
Skip transcript


Today I want to share with you two ways that my teaching has changed since I moved so much of my work online.
The first thing I want to talk about is really purely a new tool I use, and that is video. Just as I'm talking to you today, I make these little videos quite regularly to use with my students. I use them always if I'm meeting and greeting a new group. And I find it really helpful, because it makes coming to a new class considerably less intimidating if you have met your new teacher and you can picture what they look like. So for that reason, I do that every single time I have a new class.
I also use it more generally just to mix things up a little bit. If I want to read for some points or I want to summarise a class, I will often speak directly to the camera very casually, like I'm just now, complete with errors in the system. But at least it means I'm talking to my pupils in their own home, and I think it just adds a different dimension to my teaching.
The second thing that's changed with my teaching online, I think, is that I am actually much more organised, organised in the sense of classroom management. I'm aware that I need to constantly check that my students are on the right page, or that they're using the right book, that they have understood what I've just said, that they understand what their homework is. Because I don't have the visual cues of speaking to a class, I'm checking all these things much more regularly. And actually, that is really helpful for lots of different students.
Specifically, for somebody, for example, that's got ADHD it keeps them on track. It keeps them in the right place within the lesson. But more generally, it just keeps bringing people back. And I'm not making any assumptions about what I think people understand. And rather, I'm creating almost more of a dialogue.
You would think that working online using microphones and software would create less of a dialogue, but in that sense, for me, the way that I have fundamentally had to change my teaching I think has opened up more of a dialogue, and I retain this conversation almost constantly with my classes now and check that everybody is still with me.
So that is quite a- it is a fundamental change, really, in the way I teach. And I find now that when I do teach face to face, that the techniques that I have used in that respect go with me.
So two very different things, but two ways that I think my teaching has changed quite dramatically with the work that I've been doing online. Thank you.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • explain the concept of technological determinism
  • use the Visitors and Residents model to assess your students’ approach to technology in learning
  • make changes to teaching with technologies in a systematic and informed way.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371