Learning about online learning: An approach to staff development for university teachers

Sue Bennet, Ann-Marie Priest, Colin Macpherson

Abstract


At Central Queensland University (CQU), like many other universities, there is growing interest in using the Internet to deliver course materials and support student learning, especially for students learning at a distance. However, most staff have little experience of online learning environments and many feel they lack the background knowledge to participate in the formation of online teaching policies, or the skills to design and teach their own subjects online. In an attempt to address this situation, a team from CQU's Division of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) developed an online course on a topic that, it was assumed, would be of significant general interest, and invited staff to enrol as online students. The intention was to provide staff with an experience which would not only allow them to evaluate the pedagogical usefulness of this form of online teaching, but also provide a valuable starting point for more specialised training for those who wanted it. This paper discusses current staff development options for online teachers and presents a model in which a first hand experience of online learning becomes the basis upon which university teachers can build to form their own ideas about a particular approach to teaching and learning online.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1858

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