Professional development for teaching online
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Professional development for teaching online



A popular professional development module in use at the Open University (UK)

A popular professional development module in use at the Open University (UK)



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  • Many also benefited from self study route..

Professional development for teaching online Professional development for teaching online Presentation Transcript

  • Professional development for teaching online
    Dr Janet Macdonald
    The Open University in Scotland
    12th International Conference on Distance Education Quality, Moscow, Dec 2010
  • The Open University (UK)
    • Flexible part-time study
    • Largest University in the UK
    • Over 570 courses
    • 250,000 students
    • Over 2 million have studied with OU
    • 1 in 4 of UK’s part-time undergraduates are OU students
    • 10,000 staff (8,000 part timers)
  • The OU in Scotland: 15,000 students
    Population 5m
    78,000 sq kilometres
    790 islands
  • What do students need to be able to do?
    How do we support their learning?
    Who does this?
  • What do students need to be able to do?
    Listening, reading and sense making
    (Course content)
    Communicating and community
    (Learning, belonging in groups)
    Searching and researching
    (Using online resources)
    Writing and speaking
    (Preparing assignments)
    Macdonald & Creanor (2010)
  • Reading andmaking sense of course content
    - still mostly print
  • Course quiz
  • Communicating and community
    - Mostly online using forums, wikis, blogs, synchronous tools
  • Elluminate synchronous web conferencing
  • Writing and presenting- assessments mostly online submission; some courses have online assessment
  • Searching and researching- most courses have links to approved resources
  • How I do teach online?
    Some anxious, others terrified
    Under skilled
    10000 staff
    Highly motivated to learn
    A significant quality issue for the university
  • Online professional development:VLE Choices
  • Let’s start with the job..
  • Learning from peers
    VLE-Choices: Teaching difficult concepts
  • Visit an online tutorial in Elluminate
  • Activity using Audacity
  • Activity checklist
  • Automated certificate production
  • Awareness of ways to support students using VLE tools
  • Which parts of the course were most helpful to you?(106 respondents, 48% response rate)
    Examples of good practice
    Activities using the tools
  • Activities using the tools
    Being given the chance to try out various tools was the best part of this course as it's so difficult to see the possibilities until you are actually using them.
    Seeing how others used the tools and then discussing my thoughts with others and gaining new perspectives.
  • Examples of use
    The case studies are really useful, it's always an advantage to see what other people have tried on similar courses - and to see what worked.
  • Peer support
    It was useful to have the course in order to set aside dedicated time to look at the tools, and knowing that colleagues were doing the same so that we can discuss these together.
  • Making it work!
    Learning by doing activities and reflecting with others
    Peer learning: a sense of presence and community
    Near-synchronous activity
    Activity checklist and certificate
  • OU in Scotland