Moving Swiftly to Online Teaching: Valuable Tips from Experienced Educators

On Monday March 16th, the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) is pleased to partner with the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) to host this special online webinar. As many Irish universities and higher education institutions around Europe look to move swiftly to online teaching in response to the Coronavirus, this webinar will share a number of valuable tips and helpful suggestions from experienced educators.


The intention is to provide some quite practical ideas and relatively simple ways of how educators with limited prior online teaching experience can engage students in active and meaningful online learning experiences. The session draws on evidence from theory, research and best practice to demonstrate how online teaching can be a creative, highly interactive and very effective way for students to keep learning under the current challenging circumstances. There will be opportunities for participants to ask questions and we invite other experienced online educators to join the webinar to contribute their own suggestions for an active back channel discussion.


EADTU has a long history of supporting distance education (DCU is Ireland’s only member), and seeks to share its experience drawing on key European partners in helping universities and other educational institutions to keep teaching in the face of campus closures.


12:00 noon (GMT), Monday 16th March (1:00pm CET)


Click on this link to join the Zoom webinar room:

Related Resources:

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Teaching Online is Different Seminar

On the 27th of January the #Openteach project team in the NIDL led by Dr Orna Farrell hosted a seminar about teaching online. This seminar was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

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The aim of the seminar was to explore effective online teaching practice and how to support the professional development of online educators. The seminar featured two very interesting guest speakers: Professor Elena Barbera from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Dr Helen Coker from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh.

Time in online education

Online 3Professor Barbera spoke about her research on the role time plays in online education. She outlined her ideas about the online time paradox: that students enrol in online courses because they don’t have enough time to go to a campus based course, but the remaining  time that the student has to study is low quality, and they may end of up dropping out due to to the lack of time they had to begin with.

Barbera described how this consideration of time is woven throughout their approach to online education at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

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Being an online lecturer

Online 5Dr Helen Coker’s talk focused on her journal article “Purpose, Pedagogy and Philosophy: “Being” an Online Lecturer”published in IRRODL. Coker’s study took an ethnographic approach to exploring  the lived experiences of online educators. She identified three approaches to online teaching practice: knowledge, affect, and dialogue, as illustrated below.

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These three approaches were found to be mutually constituting, one could be brought into focus but the rest were still there.

Social presence: Scenario 1 of #Openteach 

Online 8The final part of the workshop was an interactive session on social presence facilitated by the #Openteach project team. The aim of this session was to pilot the first scenario from the #Openteach short online course.

Participants were presented with a scenario  related to the topic of social presence in online teaching and worked through a scaffolded activity designed to prompt discussion about approaches to establishing and maintaining presence online.

Join #Openteach

Online 2If you are interested in taking part in the #Openteach short online course about teaching online which will run from the 23rd of March to the 3rd of April 2019 and will take approximately 10 hours to complete. The course is open to anyone with an interest in online teaching. You can register your interest or email for more information.

Final thoughts

Overall the seminar was well received by participants, and was a good opportunity to open up dialogue and discussion about teaching online in Irish higher education. All of the resources from the seminar are available from the #Openteach website: