This is an open page for CAPED members and others to share what I am putting together to guide staff at XJTLU now that the corona virus has put us in the position of teaching exclusively online for the first six weeks of this semester, Note that this page is a brief introduction to learning and teaching considerations, not enabling technologies, for staff.

Online Learning and Teaching Principles

Hi all,

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will begin S2 2019-2020 with six weeks of purely online instruction. If this is new to you and you would like some guidance about teaching approaches and pedagogy, you have come to the right place. This section of ICE is intended to support online learning and teaching, but will not discuss much about the technological aspects, since experienced staff are already familiar with our VLE, and there are other tech support resources

The courses you are teaching are all already approved by XJTLU, UoL and the Jiangsu MoE, including the learning outcomes, syllabus and assessments; therefore, to deliver your course online, it is really a matter of maintaining the integrity of the Quality Assurance processes the course has already gone through, while considering the impact of the online environment on learning. Some of the factors involved in online learning are:

       Learning is about human interaction – online learning is structurally more isolating that meeting in a classroom, so instructors need to be human and welcoming through the computer interface as well as structure learning and teaching so students can interact.

       Structured delivery of learning resources – things need to be presented in order, just like in any class, and in way that is understandable to students and in appropriately small ‘chunks’ or sections;

       Clarity of expectations – shifting to a new mode of learning will be defamiliarising to students, so it is essential that the learning climate, expectations of behaviours, and academic content, including learning outcomes and assessments, are clearly communicated by instructors, and that communication by staff is clear, consistent, and helps with learning.

       Links to external resources/content – you need to support your ‘lesson’ with more materials, just like in a face-to-face class, which might mean mixing some of the content from the lecture and tutorial, a suggestion here is to have different resources for students levelled according to increasing student understand, so there might be very basic information for students who are catching-up, appropriate material for students constructing understanding; and challenging materials for students who get it and now want to apply it.

       Support for communications e.g. forums, chat rooms, e- mail, etc. – the main difference between live and online learning is that people feel the distance and disconnection more when online, which can have an impact on motivation. Creating spaces for students to ‘turn and talk’ or to communicate about learning, both with one another and with you, is essential. This is something you will have to manage and participate in – it is not sufficient to post or dump content on ICE and think teaching is done.

       Self-assessment activities – many modules have workbooks, etc. so creating self-assessment activities should not be too difficult; however, students cannot monitor their learning and you cannot monitor your teaching without giving students opportunities to check their learning, and there are several ICE activities (that can be found here and here) which can help with this.

This is a useful visual from Gilly Salmon’s " E-tivities. The Key to Active Online Learning" (2002), showing a model for eLearning with increasing interaction and participation. The areas in grey, e-moderating, show considerations of instructors teaching online.

Gilly 1.jpg

For more tips and answers about the technological aspects online learning, please contact ICE. For more ideas and information about the pedagogies, please contact Charlie Reis.



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