Experiment, test, refine: Work with students to shape online courses

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 09:15
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Experiment, test, refine 

My first lecturing job was a part-time, fixed-term contract. Having completed the first term of teaching, I felt it was going OK but thought I could do better – and I was desperate to secure a permanent role.  

So, the next term I decided to experiment. What if I played upbeat music before the lecture as the students were arriving? Immediate positive response. 

What if I played quieter, more thoughtful music? Turns out that Nick Cave is a terrible introduction to a Monday lecture, so I never did that again.  

Standfirst
If you want to improve teaching, speak to the learners, explains Pat Tissington, who advocates using student feedback to continually experiment and adjust your online instruction methods throughout the course
Teaser
If you want to improve teaching, speak to the learners, explains Pat Tissington, who advocates using student feedback to continually experiment and adjust your online instruction methods throughout the course

Fair assessment: tackling the rise in online cheating

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 09:10
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Since the beginning of the pandemic, colleges and universities have seen an increase in academic integrity violations, possibly caused by student stress and the transition to remote delivery methods.

Even outside the pandemic, an instructor has multiple opportunities to foster the reduction of academic integrity violations in his or her course through course design, information given to students and student interaction.

It is important to first examine some reasons why students might cheat.

Standfirst
The move to online learning has seen a big increase in academic misconduct such as plagiarism. Camilla Roberts explains how careful planning of online teaching and assessment can minimise cheating
Teaser
The move to online learning has seen a big increase in academic misconduct such as plagiarism. Camilla Roberts explains how careful planning of online teaching and assessment can minimise cheating

I spy what’s in the prof’s study: lessons from students in online learning

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 09:00
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Like most in higher education, I’m continually looking for new ways to improve online teaching and engage students who are learning remotely.  

Gathering feedback from the students themselves is an effective way to do this, to find out how they feel about the new modes of learning, what works and what does not. 

These are the five key lessons from surveying all 58 first-year students I co-taught online in the autumn semester. 

Standfirst
Student feedback is crucial to improving remote teaching. Here, Roger Austin shares key lessons for effective online course delivery based on a survey of his students
Teaser
Student feedback is crucial to improving remote teaching. Here, Roger Austin shares key lessons for effective online course delivery based on a survey of his students

Innovative approaches to moving practical learning online

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 09:16
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Challenges

While the move to online teaching has been difficult for most in higher education, it has been especially challenging for courses requiring practical, hands-on learning, such as STEM subjects, medicine and nursing. Many thought it was not possible, but we now know that with careful planning, hard-working staff, willing students and some innovative teaching methods, it can be done.

Standfirst
A major challenge of the move to more remote learning is how to teach practical subjects. Here, Lesley Saunders and Lucy Kirkham discuss how they adapted a large nursing course by adopting a combination of online, blended and socially distant teaching
Teaser
A major challenge of the move to remote learning is how to teach practical subjects. Here, Lesley Saunders and Lucy Kirkham discuss how they adapted a large nursing course by adopting a combination of online, blended and socially distant teaching

Points to consider when personal tutoring remotely

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 09:15
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With many remote students feeling anxious, personal tutors are often the first port of call. Michael Draper talks through things to consider in order to maintain a supportive and helpful relationship with tutees from a distance
Teaser
With many remote students feeling anxious, personal tutors are often the first port of call. Michael Draper talks through things to consider in order to maintain a supportive and helpful relationship with tutees from a distance

Bridging the digital divide: Online courses with equity at their core

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 09:00
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Otito Iwuchukwu talks about how to take an equity-first approach to delivering online courses to ensure all students can access the resources they need and have their voices heard
Teaser
Otito Iwuchukwu talks about how to take an equity-first approach to delivering online courses to ensure all students can access the resources they need and have their voices heard

Netiquette: encouraging good behaviour in online classes

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 09:05
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With most core university teaching currently taking place online, it’s important that staff and students contribute to, and feel part of, a safe, respectful and connected community when interacting online.

Here we outline how university staff can create a positive, constructive remote learning environment through good “netiquette”.

Standfirst
Online teaching can blur boundaries between home and university, so lecturers must take steps to ensure a safe and respectful online learning environment through good ‘netiquette’. Sam Smidt and Joanna Stroud explain how
Teaser
Online teaching can blur boundaries between home and university, so lecturers must take steps to ensure a safe and respectful online learning environment through good ‘netiquette’. Sam Smidt and Joanna Stroud explain how

Making the implicit explicit: improve online learning through ‘presence’

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 14/01/2021 - 09:05
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When teaching on campus, we tend to think in terms of particular activity types, each with their own formats and associated expectations – all of which are very clear to both students and faculty.  

Module plans typically encompass a series of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions, each with a time, a place and a well-rehearsed set of activities.  

Standfirst
Dara Cassidy explains how the Community of Inquiry provides a framework to help translate teaching strategies that come naturally in the classroom to the online learning environment where they require more deliberate planning
Teaser
Dara Cassidy explains how the Community of Inquiry provides a framework to help translate teaching strategies that come naturally in the classroom to the online learning environment where they require more deliberate planning

Efficient communication that avoids overloading students or staff

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 13/01/2021 - 09:05
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Constant upheaval has left many university staff and students feeling overwhelmed. Wendy Zajack talks through basic principles for keeping digital communications clear and concise to avoid information overload
Teaser
Constant upheaval has left many university staff and students feeling overwhelmed. Wendy Zajack talks through basic principles for keeping digital communications clear and concise to avoid information overload

From lecture theatre to living room: adapting teaching techniques to the online classroom

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 09:00
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The sudden move from “face-to-face” teaching to online was not an easy transition for me.  

At first, I did not deal well with the social isolation associated with living alone, working from home and having no interaction with friends and colleagues but after a few months I started to adapt.  

Standfirst
The move to online education has required a major rethink of traditional teaching practices. Julianne Law offers insight on how she has adapted her ‘lectures’ for the digital classroom
Teaser
The move to online education has required a major rethink of traditional teaching practices. Julianne Law offers insight on how she has adapted her ‘lectures’ for the digital classroom