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 https://openteach.ie/join-openteach/ or email orna.farrell@dcu.ie 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:

https://openteach.ie/

Converging on Dublin from all Corners of the World…

In the first week of November, we expect over 800 delegates from 77 countries (on last count) will be converging on Dublin for the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning. Another group of valued participants will be formally contributing virtual papers as part of the conference programme, and we expect many others will be following the event via our live stream and through various social media channels. Watch for our guidelines coming shortly on how you can maximise your virtual participation.

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And before the Open Ceremony on Monday 4th November, more than 200 participants will join together on Sunday at DCU’s St Patrick’s campus for an interesting mix of pre-conference activities.

DCU_St_Pats.jpgBut that’s only the beginning of the action as our unique “Gasta” style lightning talks starting in the Convention Centre Dublin on Monday afternoon, coupled with Tuesday’s guided walking tours ending with a bit of “pedagogy in the pub”, should make for lively conversations. Whilst there is a serious side to the conference too, with some challenging invited speakers, lots of busy and bustling breakout presentations across 4-days and 10 parallel tracks, along with a mix of 15 interactive symposia, action labs and SWOT fora, we also hope that you have your ticket to the Gala Dinner. The conference dinner promises to be a grand event, where we will present a number of prestigious ICDE Awards as well as later in the evening encourage you to join our céilí dancers. We respectfully ask all guests to wear something “green” and there will be special green awards for those entering into the spirit of the occasion.

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And the good craic in Dublin doesn’t stop at the dinner, as the final day of the ICDE World Conference starts with a future-focussed keynote by Professor George Siemens. This is one talk not to miss! George will explore some of the big questions facing us in the future and set the scene for the “Great Dublin Debate”. Our debate should prove to be a real highlight of the conference as you can expect two teams to draw on their considerable experience, intellect and no doubt spontaneous wit for a lively discussion presenting different futures for online education.

Our local NIDL team can’t wait to welcome you to Dublin as we have a number of other creative twists and little surprises to share when you arrive. If you haven’t yet registered for the ICDE World Conference, then please don’t delay any longer, as we really want you to join us in Dublin to help shape the future.

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Go to the latest conference newsletter published earlier today to read lots more about the ICDE World Conference, including what’s new, the latest programme, our guiding aspirations, the conference app, an update for presenters, another speaker spotlight, information about our sponsors, the taste of Ireland, and more.