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Take your teaching online

2.3 Reflection

It is important to reflect on your own practice as a teacher in order to develop. This means continually considering and questioning how you teach. Schön (1987) argues that it is useful to think about this in two ways:

Reflection-in-action – thinking and responding quickly to events as you teach. In online learning this might mean, for example, checking with students if you notice that they are not responding in an online tutorial session. In order to be able to reflect-in-action, you need to maintain awareness of the situation. This might require you to regularly check on student behaviours, like whether they are contributing on forums or in tutorials.

Reflection-on-action – considering what happened afterwards in a deeper fashion. For online learning, reviewing student feedback and analytics can be a good prompt for reflection-on-action.

In addition, it can be valuable to consider how to include activities in your online learning that ask students to reflect on their learning. A review by Means et al. (2009) identified that ‘the available research evidence suggests that promoting self-reflection, self-regulation, and self-monitoring leads to more positive online learning outcomes’ (pg. 45). An example of this would be a short questionnaire that learners can take to represent their own view of their understanding of the subject, and how well they think they are learning. If you make it clear to the learners that you will check their responses, this can also provide you with some data, as well as being a useful part of the learning experience for them.


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