Welcome to 'Using technology tools for teaching online'.
At the top of each screen you will see an icon showing the suggested...
Throughout the course you will find 'pods' to the right of the screen, including...
The purpose of this course is to explore the role of technology tools in online and blended teaching and learning, and to establish a framework within which to identify, evaluate, and integrate technology resources into online and blended teaching and learning environments. Along with an overview of technology tools and approaches to using them, this course will provide guidance on how to unite teaching and learning-applied effective practices with the selection and implementation of online technology tools.
As you progress through this course, you will learn about technology tools that support three key areas: providing content, developing interaction, and performing assessment. The activities throughout the course are designed to deepen your understanding of these topics and to provide scenarios for you to work through and think about within your own context. By the end of the course you should feel comfortable exploring new technology tools and finding appropriate avenues for integrating these tools into your teaching.
The following video will provide you with an overview of the course, and insight from the course author on the role of technology tools in online teaching and learning.
The following interview with the course author will provide you with an overview of the course, and insight from the author on the role of technology tools in online teaching and learning.
An exciting learning journey lies ahead! Remember to take notes as you progress, and that you can return to the content at any time for review and reflection.
Social constructivist pedagogies: Teaching strategies grounded in...
Reference will be made during this course to the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). Based on social constructivist education theory, the Community of Inquiry model serves as one of various frameworks for online teaching and learning, which inform methodologies and approaches to course design and delivery. CoI is used throughout these courses to provide us with a particularly useful framework for thinking about three elements critical to a successful online learning environment – social, teaching, and cognitive presence.
A constituent of the CoI model; referring to the degree to which participants in online environments feel affectively connected to one another.
A constituent of the CoI model; referring to the design and organisation of course materials and activities, facilitation of learning, and direct instruction in online courses.
A constituent of the CoI model; referring to the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning in online courses.
The following bullet list gives more information about the three presences required for a successful online learning environment:
Additional activities are provided throughout the course in 'Portfolio activity'...
Research has shown that all three presences need to be cultivated in online and blended courses for communities of inquiry to develop and higher-order thinking to take place.
Occasionally, explicit reference will be made to the potential for a particular technology tool or approach to support one or more of these elements, but do be aware that all the tools and approaches highlighted in this course will support the social, teaching, and/or cognitive presences needed to develop a successful online community of learners.
As you work through this course, think regularly about the balance of your...
In this course, the term 'technology tools' is used in a broad sense to describe generic tool types such as forums, blogs, and wikis; specific applications such as Skype, Pinterest, and Google Docs; physical, digital devices such as smartphones and tablets; and the various facilities offered by a learning management system/virtual learning environment.
The term 'technology' is used to describe the broader concept of using digital devices and/or software applications in teaching and learning.
Various terms are given to teaching professionals within higher education institutions – including 'teachers', 'lecturers' and 'tutors'. For clarity and simplicity, the term 'teacher' will generally be used throughout this course to encompass all higher education teaching staff.
At the top of each section you will see an icon showing the suggested minimum time it will take to complete the core content. These estimates include time to watch videos and complete activities in the central part of each section (main course content), but not to complete the supplementary activities provided throughout the course, which have their own durations. Please note that these time estimates are indicative only.
Throughout the course you will find 'pods' at the end of the section, including quotations, 'Portfolio activities' (see separate pod below), documents to download, useful advice, key terms and links to further reading. These are designed to supplement the course material and encourage you to read and reflect further. Please take the time to explore them.
Social constructivist pedagogies: Teaching strategies grounded in the idea that learning is a social enterprise resulting in the construction of knowledge in individual minds, therefore emphasising facilitation of learning, learner-centredness, social interaction, and the development of learning environments (as opposed to teaching environments).
Additional activities are provided throughout the course in 'Portfolio activity' pods. They are designed to help you reflect, apply your learning to your own context, and develop skills and practical plans at key points of the course.
You can record the outputs of these activities in the individual documents provided in each 'Portfolio activity' pod, or you may wish to download and complete the Teaching Online portfolio provided with this programme. This provides space to record your responses to all the 'Portfolio activities' for this course, and incorporates all of the downloadable supplementary documents provided in the course. Once completed, your portfolio will form a record of your work, and a tool to assist you in your online teaching.
The 'Portfolio icon' is also used throughout the course to indicate when downloadable documents or the results of activities in the main course might be incorporated into your portfolio.
As you work through this course, think regularly about the balance of your own online teaching. For each new approach and practice, consider your own context, reflecting on the proportion of learning that will take place fully online and the proportion that will be blended to combine online and face-to-face elements. When you consider the blended context, think carefully about the level of the desired learning outcomes, the possible ways of assessing these and how (and which) face-to-face and online learning activities can be woven together in a planned, pedagogically sound manner.