Micro-credential Short Course: Enhancing Your Online Teaching for 2021-22

Micro-credential Short Course: Enhancing Your Online Teaching for 2021-22

The Centre for Academic Development invited staff to undertake a new, micro-credential short course, which was designed to facilitate the exchange of effective online teaching practice and ideas. Sessions were delivered by teaching staff from across the University, in a supportive and collaborative environment. Topics covered in the four, 1-hour sessions had emerged from the recent University Staff Survey on Blended Learning. Topics included interactivity in online synchronous learning, online assessments, the flipped classroom, and academic integrity. Successful participation in all four topics gained staff a digital certificate of completion. All sessions were delivered online in August and September 2021.  Thank you to all who contributed and took part.

Course Topics

Topic 1: An Exchange of Good Practice for Effective Online Course Coordination

This interactive session looked at how course coordinators can ensure that their courses are organised and run smoothly. With a potential move to online and on-campus study scheduled for 2021-22, this hour-long session  looked at how staff can support each other with planning, managing, and evaluating hybrid courses.

Facilitator: Dr Aaron Thom, Educational Developer, Centre for Academic Development 

Topic 2: Increasing Awareness of Academic Integrity in Assessments: A Practical Approach

This interactive session explored the use of assessment and teaching strategies, to help minimise incidences of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, collusion, and contract cheating. In the session, we discussed how we can engender a culture of academic integrity in our student population, and how the use of assessment design can help to reduce the risk of academic dishonesty.

Facilitators: Dr Joy Perkins, Educational Developer, Centre for Academic Development and Dr Mary Pryor, Senior Academic Skills Adviser, Centre for Academic Development

Topic 3: Flipping the Online Classroom: Encouraging Interactivity

You might have heard of ‘the flipped classroom’ before Covid forced us to change how we teach and interact with students. The flipped model – self-directed learning followed by instructor-led group learning – can work well for hybrid and online teaching. This might sound like ‘watch my Panopto recording then come to the online tutorial’ and in simple terms it is. The challenge, as we all know, is making it work in practice. This workshop gave an outline of how you can plan your teaching and offered tips on how to engage with students in synchronous (online and on campus) sessions.

Facilitator: Dr Peter Henderson, Senior Lecturer (Scholarship), Chemistry 

Topic 4: Enhancing Social Presence in Online Learning Communities

Social presence is often assumed to arise naturally out of a teaching setting, without the need for much educator involvement. Instead, we tend to focus mostly on enhancing students’ cognitive presence. While in a face-to-face classroom this may be appropriate, in an online setting the exclusive focus on cognitive presence can lead to awkward situations like silent breakout rooms, or nobody asking questions. This final interactive session of the course demonstrated the difference between Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence and showed how Social Presence is the ‘lubricant’ for the other two. The session was packed with suggestions for what you can do to enhance social presence for yourself and your students. 

Facilitator: Dr Mirjam Brady, Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Psychology