Successes challenges issues: Launching an Initial Teacher Education Program Online

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Writen by Sheena O'Hare and Mick Grimley
Presented by Sheena O'Hare and Gilly Salmon
Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference, Swinburne Universtiy of Technology, Melbourne, 2013
More presentaions available at www.gillysalmon.com/presentations

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  • Thanks you for attending our presentationMy name is Mick Grimley I’m an academic here at Swinburne and I’m the academic director of Teacher EducationMy partner in crime today is Sheena O’Hare who is the program director of teacher education at Swinburne Online our partner company- and we’ll tell you more about that relationship as we goWe don’t intend to talk for 45 minsWe will aim for about 30 mins followed by questionsprobably finish earlyI know that it’s the dinner tonightAnd just before we start I should just say that although we don’t specifically talk about Blackboard per se we do acknowledge that almost everything we do in our online courses is done in Bb –and hopefully you’ll get chance to see one of our courses built in Bb later
  • Just a little bit about what we intend to cover in this sessionI’m going to talk for about 15 mins from the perspective of starting up a new Teacher education discipline from the Swinburne University perspective I’m going to talk a bit about starting Teacher Education from scratch from the academic perspective and some of the issues we’ve faced Then Sheena will talk about it from the Swinburne online perspective (the more operational perspective)
  • So Swinburne Online was formed as a partnership between Swinburne University and Seek Ltd in 2011 SOL are a private companyAll of the courses offered through SOL are purely online (with no F2F elements) they began offering courses to students in March 2012And we started offering Initial Teacher education courses in November 2012As our partners Swinburne online are effectively our delivery arm – that’s what they do well – they provide quality online delivery and support to studentsBut the students are Swinburne University StudentsOpen University Australia and SEEK Limited are two organisations which compile the most online offerings in Australia, they enable potential students to find online course offerings relatively easily. so you can see the benefits of the partnership
  • There are reports of a large growth in online education surprisingly Vietnam, Malaysia, Romania and Azerbaijan have the largest projected growth ratesIn 2010 there were 6.1 million Australians enrolled in online courses and over 1000 online education providersOne of the benefits of online education is reported to be a higher profit margins than traditional delivery modes – approximately 8.8% of revenue compared to an average of 3.8% for all education.So you can see that a partnership with Seek to provide online education has the potential to be lucrative and there is a market
  • Mick was employed by Swinburne University in April of 2012The aim was to introduce teacher Education as a discipline at Swinburne UniversityThe catch was it needed to be done by November that year The University had no history of Teacher EducationAnd few resourcesSwinburne had 1 temporary Education staff member (an ex PhD student)And one permanent Early Childhood educator form the TAFE sectorSo I went from this – the view from my bedroom window in Christchurch, New Zealand (to this)
  • A very confusing maze, where I was asking:Where do I start?What do I do first?How do I resource it?And a thousand other questions
  • So I just quickly want to go through a little bit about Initial Teacher education as a discipline and the sorts of hoops we have to jump through to make it a viable course and some of the issues we were facingIt’s applied learning so we are educating students to become teachers – this gives it a theoretical and practical aspect (professional practice)The Victorian Institute of Teaching is the regulatory body in Victoria that approves all school aged Initial Teacher Education courses - Whereas ACECQA - the Australian Children’s Education and care Quality Authority - approves early Childhood Teaching coursesAnd to complicate matters from 2012 to 2013 Australia has just moved over to National Standards from State standardsAnd implemented a National CurriculumOne of the bombshells amongst the National Standards was the requirement that all graduates of Initial teacher education courses should have high Literacy and numeracy competency – which of course is desired – as they are our future teachers, but it presents a problem when you have to educate them about teaching and learning along with upskilling them in Literacy and Numeracy as well (this is one we’ve been wrangling with since the initial design stages)And of courses we also have to get our courses internally accredited
  • We managed to get the courses written and accredited with existing staff (internal and external)And in November 2012 we launched (above)We also hope to offer (above) in November this year – just going through external accreditation
  • But of course it’s not just about getting our courses accredited we also needed to have units developed to offer students and this is where it got trickyeffectively at the beginning of August last year we had very few academic staff to do thisAnd little time to appoint anySo what we appointed 7sessional staff on temporary contracts- all registered teachersAnd to get over the fact that we needed to develop units very very quickly we took a team approachOur staff worked as a team with regular meetings and development workshops, And we used a wiki to share resources, and although one person would take overall responsibility for a unit the whole team collaborated on itWe also had the benefit of being able to wok collaboratively with staff at Swinburne Online who were experts in the online environment and were skilled learning designers (Sheena will talk a bit about this later)Our whole environment was dynamic and collaborative and as such we were able to meet our targets and have units ready for delivery in NovemberWe are now in a process of recruiting more permanent academic education staffAlthough we are Having difficulty finding and appointing more senior education academicsIssues: Online, no reputation in the area of Education
  • Swinburne Online uses a model of online education that adheres to Professor Gilly Salmon’s five stage model of online learning combined with a supportive environment for learners (and Sheena is going to talk a bit about this later)We take a Social Constructivist approach in the units – in other words we don’t just provide students with a whole lot of text to read through and expect them to know itStudents work through activities related closely to the learning materials scaffolding the assessmentsStudents are highly supported (again Sheena will talk more about this later)And we try to make activities realistic – in other words tasks that they would likely perform in their future career
  • One major challenge has been overcoming people’s perception of online education as being sub-standard to the more traditional face-to-face courses. the vast majority of people (even some seasoned educationalists) still take the view that it is essential to have ‘the expert’ up in front of the students to enable them to understand the materials being offered Often these fears are somewhat mitigated when they realise the extent of the support that students are offeredrather than being left to their own devices.Another challenge that has faced online pre-service teacher education courses is how to support students whilst on work-based experience (practicum). it has been important to recognise the expertise of teacher mentors who work in schoolsrather than sending out university-based tutors to support and assess students on placement. I’m now going to hand over to Sheena who’s going to talk about our courses from the SOL perspective
  • Successes challenges issues: Launching an Initial Teacher Education Program Online

    1. 1. Successes, Challenges, Issues: Launching an Initial Teacher Education Program Online Sheena O’Hare (Swinburne Online) Mick Grimley (Swinburne University) 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 1
    2. 2. Overview • Start-up from Swinburne University Perspective – Written by Mick Grimley – Spoken by Gilly Salmon • Start-up from Swinburne Online Perspective Sheena O’Hare 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 2
    3. 3. A New Partnership a New Discipline • 2011 Swinburne Online (SOL) is formed • 100 per cent online delivery • Students are Swinburne University students • First courses launched in March 2012 • First Teacher Education students in November 2012 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 3
    4. 4. Online Education: a market? • Online education is growing exponentially: – Top 4 adopters of self paced e-learning with 35% + projected 5 yr growth rates are: • Vietnam, Malaysia, Romania, Azerbaijan (Ambient, 2011) • In 2010, 6.1 million students enrolled in at least one online course (Allen & Semen, 2011) • Over 1000 providers of online education in Australia- although few are purely online (Ibis World, 2012) 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 4
    5. 5. Teacher Education a New Discipline for Swinburne Not currently taught at Swinburne – No history of Teacher Education – No Education Academics 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 5
    6. 6. 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 6
    7. 7. The Nature of Initial Teacher Education • Regulated by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) and the Australian Children’s Education and care Quality Authority (ACECQA) – Practicums – State Curriculum versus National Curriculum – National Standards • Personal Numeracy and Literacy Standards 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 7
    8. 8. Current Offerings • In November 2012 we launched: – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) – Master of Teaching (Primary) • In November 2013 we plan to launch: – Bachelor of Education (Primary) 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 8
    9. 9. Building a Team • Very fast start-up – The need to get people on the ground quickly • Consolidating and planning for the future – Appointing full-time seasoned academics 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 9
    10. 10. Building the Programs and the Units • Professor Gilly Salmon’s five stage model of online learning (Salmon, 2011) • Social constructivist approach • Highly supported • Tasks that mimic professional expectations (realistic) 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 10 www..e-moderating.com
    11. 11. Teaching Teacher Education Online • Perceptions – F2F versus Online • Professional practice – Teacher as expert 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 11
    12. 12. The teaching model at Swinburne Online: recruiting e Learning advisors Teaching vacancies are advertised through Seek Telephone interview – Passion is crucial 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 12
    13. 13. Development & Training • 4 or 5 weeks online • Based on Social Constructivism (Gilly Salmon’s 5-stage model) • Challenge to ensure quality teachers allocated into appropriate groups according to qualifications 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 13 www.e-moderating.com
    14. 14. Week by week break down • Access and motivation (encouraged to get to know their tutor and their peers) • Online socialisation (encouraged to be active in online activities that are created to support the development of a learning community • Information exchange (more cooperation and time management) • Knowledge construction (work together to complete projects) • Development (able to apply and integrate knowledge into work place) 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 14
    15. 15. Promotion of participation • Effective online education differentiated from distance education by opportunities for participative opportunities. • Effective online participation does not just happen, it needs to be supported. • Challenge to ensure that the participations lead to desired learning outcomes 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 15
    16. 16. Growth over time • Accessible from anywhere; study can be structured around job or family; and can be streamlined, condensed or accelerated. • Danger that technologies add a new layer of complexity • Isolation and disconnectedness can contribute to student attrition 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 16
    17. 17. Support for Students at Swinburne Online • E-learning Advisors • Student Liaison Team (7 day support) • Practicum Placement Team 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 17
    18. 18. Virtual academic support • 140 E learning Advisors are based solely online, around the world – Sri Lanka, Greece, Scotland etc. • Online networks set up to support – teaching coaches – focus on working more efficiently and effectively, not harder • Blackboard staff lounge + Yammer private social networking site 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 18
    19. 19. Education Staff at Swinburne Online • Program Director – quality of overall program • Unit coordinator – unit management • Learning designer – unit glitches and clarification • Learning technologist 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 19
    20. 20. Unit Moderation through Partnership • Internal moderation • HD/Fail cross marking • SUT/SOL moderation • Leads into unit review process 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 20
    21. 21. Thanks for listening Slides at www.gilly.salmon.com ….Resources …….Presentations 7/08/2013 Mick Grimley & Sheena O'Hare ANZ Blackboard conference 21
    22. 22. “Never doubt the power of a small group of people to change the world. Nothing else ever has.” Margaret Mead “Be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Ghandi No budgets or humans were harmed in the making of this presentation “Every society honours its live conformists and its dead troublemakers." Mignon McLaughlin

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