Effective classroom teachers and the challenge of envisioning possibilities for online teaching

Cathryn McCormack, Angela Carbone, Thi Kim Anh Dang

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The current higher education environment presents multiple challenges for academics. In their teaching, academics face larger classes, an ever-changing student cohort, and for many, institutional pressure to teach online. We address how this final challenge is tackled by reflective practitioners who are confident and skilled in classroom teaching. Our study focuses on academics as learners of teaching, rather than evaluating a particular program. We report here on one aspect of a full-year ethnographic investigation of 9 academics from various health and science disciplines at an Australian regional university to identify what and how they learn teaching. All the academics were engaged in unit level curriculum design as part of their teaching responsibilities. The data presented here comes from initial interviews with the academics that explored their conceptions of teaching and learning, how they became the teacher they are today, and their goals for the year ahead. Participants revealed limited vision and conceptions of learning design for online teaching, largely viewing their online space as a repository for recorded lectures and other resources. Universities therefore need to be aware that successful transition to the online learning environment will require complex and multi-faceted support for staff, beginning with developing a vision of effective curriculum and learning design for online teaching. Skills development alone will likely result in a simple translation of existing approaches to the online environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and Development in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationCurriculum Transformation
EditorsRuth Walker, Simon Bedford
Place of PublicationHammondville NSW Australia
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780994554666
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2017 - International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 201730 Jun 2017
Conference number: 40th


ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleHERDSA Conference 2017
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