Many teachers will be exploring how to conduct online learning for the first time. But while there are specific elements that require thought and understanding, many of the principles of teaching still apply. Sandra Rennie outlines a few tips based on her own experience
Chatting on Skype with my grandson about an essay he had just written and was about to submit on the school Internet site, I told him I needed to go off and write an article on online learning. Lazily, I asked him for input suggestions. “I don’t know anything about online learning; I’ve never done it!” he said.
This made me laugh and yet it gives a lovely illustration of how ‘online learning’ means many things to many people. When you are chatting online in the comfort of your own home, the conversational interchange may seem far too relaxed to constitute ‘learning’. When you are submitting homework via Moodle, Edmodo or Satchel One or whatever virtual learning environment (VLE) your college or centre is currently using, it may just look like you are fulfilling their administration requirements not ‘doing online learning’.
What are the ways you can develop online learning that include those at home unable to attend your class in person, but at the same time preserve the immediacy, relevance and the richness of a group education experience? Here are five tips I have picked up from my own experience of online courses undertaken both as a student and as a teacher.
Rennie suggest that the key things are to carry on teaching; not overcomplicate your presentation; cater for all; make the course social; and make the course relevant to the learners.
Sandra Rennie heads the SEQUELS training centre in Yorkshire. The article is available online in the journal of the Society for Education and Training, Intuition pp4-6
Rennie, S. (2020) ‘Virtual reality’. Intuition May 2020, 14-15