Online learning has become more and more popular in recent years, allowing people to access quality education and training regardless of their location. Recognising the importance of embracing online learning, five staff from the Australian Institute of Social Relations recently took part in a ‘Learning to Teach Online’ course…
The course aimed to teach participants how to plan and implement online learning, including how to decide what to put online, what tools to use, how to communicate with students and how to gather feedback.
“We have had some great success with our online courses but wanted to upskill more staff so that we all have a clear idea of where to start when it comes to putting our training online,” said Sharon Lawrence, Educator at the Institute.
“One thing I have learnt is that you can’t just put what you do face to face online and think it’s going to work, so this course has really helped us to clarify our thinking and work out a plan of attack to make our online courses as effective as possible.”
The course was delivered as a massive open online course (MOOC) through the University of New South Wales and took 6 months to complete. The MOOC format meant that Sharon and the other Institute Educators were among thousands of other students from around the world doing the course.
“As part of the assessment, we had to give feedback to two other randomly selected students, which opened us up to a range of different perspectives,” Sharon said.
“The whole MOOC setup was very well done, offering a choice of learning options to appeal to different learning styles. They really practice what they preach, with easy to follow modules featuring videos, readings and quizzes. They also suggested alternate readings based on your interaction with the course and answers to questions, giving you a somewhat personalised experience of the training.”
Building on our understanding of online learning best practices, the Institute is looking to offer several courses online in the future. Watch this space!