A Planful Move to Teaching Online: Useful Resources for Educators

A wealth of useful guides, resources and blog posts for moving to online teaching in a more planful manner have been produced over the past few days. A great effort by many educators! We have been trying to keep up and keep track of many of these resources by reading, reviewing and listing them on a new “Swiftly Moving Online” NIDL webpage. Hopefully this compilation of resources will help more people to become aware of the many helpful tips, ideas and suggestions available to educators to plan and successfully pivot to online teaching and learning.

Swiftly.jpg

Understandably, our NIDL team at Dublin City University (DCU) was busy last week preparing for the potential scenario of having restricted campus access. Accordingly, we offered several online professional development workshops for staff using Zoom and refreshed and/or updated many of our previous online teaching resources. We have included links to some of these resources at the start of this new page to provide examples of what one institution is doing in response to the current crisis, although more specific staff and student guides appear in Loop — our VLE.

photo-1521175776577-f8e0c1e5ecb7As previously announced, we will be offering a webinar for educators new to online teaching on Monday 16th March at 12 noon (GMT) in partnership with the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).
Our
#OpenTeach team will also be offering a free online course starting on Monday 23rd March as part of an Irish National Forum funded project. We have also produced a Padlet wall to help collate and share top tips for teaching online, which we hope other educators will contribute to over the next few days. 

NIDL Virus.jpg

In terms of the list of external resources, we hope some of the quality checklists are helpful with the team at Quality Matters in the U.S. having produced emergency online teaching guides for both schools and those who teach in higher education institutions. In Ireland, the National Forum has shared a Google doc which contains a list of community sourced resources for Irish educators. Also, in Ireland, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) has also been quick to respond to the current situation by adding a special Distance Learning page for schools to their website.

Our own list of general teaching online resources contains more than 25 links to a range of tips, toolkits and takeaway guides from around the world. One weakness which we hope to address is the current limited number of guides and resources for students new to online learning. By the middle of last week, DCU quickly prepared a “Keep Learning” guide for students and also reminded people about our suite of free online courses in Discover DCU along with our “Who Can I Ask?” tool for online learners who may be in need of wider support.  We are also pleased to be able to offer our 24/7 online study coach and assignment writing service through Studiosity to our DCU Connected learners and targeted campus-based students.

IMG_6710.JPG

Additionally, we share a number of more specific guides and examples of business and academic continuity plans from various sources. Moreover, the resource includes a growing number of free online courses available to educators on the topic of online teaching, including two normally restricted courses opened up by Epigeum and an EdX course on Pivoting to Online Teaching which starts on Wednesday 18th March.

Lastly, this resource bank lists a number of blogs, news stories and opinion pieces related to the so-called “Great Onlining of 2020”, which we reported in a previous blog post some commentators describe as a black swan. Time will tell what the current crisis means for the long-term future of education but many people agree that “online learning” has changed forever. Mindful of this claim, our team aims to keep updating the webpage with additional resources as time permits and as they are published over the next few days and weeks. In the meantime, we trust this a useful resource and contribution at such a difficult and challenging time.

ICDE World Conference Update: Pack your Bags and a Warm Coat!

It’s time to pack your bags as Dublin is ready and eagerly awaiting your arrival. You might need a warm coat as we expect some spine chilling weather this week to conicide with Halloween, the celebration of Samhain and the world famous Bram Stoker Festival. If you’re one of the advance parties arriving in the next few days for the meeting of OERu partners or for one of the other NIDL pre-conference activities then you can expect a week of deadly adventures. It might be a little cooler outside by this time next week based on the long range weather forecast for Dublin but we can still guarantee you a warm Irish welcome and plenty of good Craic. The ICDE World Conferenceoffers an action packed programme over 5-days and the local NIDL team at Dublin City University (DCU) keenly awaits your arrival in the land of saints and scholars.

photo-1473625247510-8ceb1760943f.jpeg

What’s New? 

Over the last week we have been adding the polishing touches to the conference programme, with a team of volunteers from DCU working tirelessly to ensure that everything is ready for your arrival. We are also delighted to report that a great team of DCU Student Ambassadors will be supporting us throughout the conference. Last week the full Conference Book went off to the printer containing the final programme along with lots of useful information to set the stage for an impactful week. Also we released our conference app so that you can start engaging with other participants and some of the tools and resources we have available for you. We strongly encourage participants to download the conference app before you depart for Dublin in order to get ready for the event and to greatly enhance your professional learning and networking experience. To download the app:

Search for ‘The Event App by EventsAir’. Download to your device and enter the event code wcol2019.

image.png

Please enter the username and password you set when you registered for the ICDE World Conference. Note that login is case-sensitive so please make sure your device isn’t capitalising the first word. If you have any problems logging in to the app then please contact Celia or Judy from our great team at Happening Conferences and Events.

image.png

On other conference news we finalised the allocation of breakout session chairs and we are particularly grateful to the dozens of people who kindly volunteered to contribute to the ICDE World Conference in this important way. Without the volunteers we have drawn on over almost two-years the ICDE World Conference would not be possible. All paper sessions will have a dedicated chair to ensure that everything runs smoothly and presenters keep to time. We also received last week most of the digital poster submissions and successfully uploaded them to the conference app where you can already view and later in the conference vote on them. The scheduled to meet the poster author(s) to discuss their work appears in the conference book.

Preparations for Sunday’s pre-conference event on November 3rd at DCU’s St Patrick’s campus are well in hand where we expect to welcome over 200 delegates to a busy full-day programme. A campus map with further directions to E Block where you will find the Registration Desk will be sent to delegates in the next few days. As your registration pack for the full conference will be available on Sunday morning when you arrive we encourage you to come early as tea and coffee will be available. image.pngTowards the end of Sunday’s pre-conference the #Openteach project team will be launching one of their key outputs, Teaching Online is Different: Critical Perspectives from the Literature. This report critically analyses the international literature about online teaching and professional development and a printed version of the work will be freely available to delegates attending the pre-conference. It argues that teaching online is different, evidenced by some of the unique roles, competencies and professional development approaches required to equip online educators to teach effectively. The #Openteach project is based in the Open Education Unit in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at DCU and the report is externally funded by the Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a valued Bronze sponsor.

Read more about next week’s ICDE World Conference in our final newsletter, including another informative speaker spotlight, an update for presenters and taste of Ireland section, before around 800 delegates from nearly 80 countries converge on Dublin next week.