blended learning, digital, Digital Education, Digital Practice, online learning, Training

Not sure what to do about online teaching next year? Don’t worry, help is on its way!

Steve Rutherford (Biosciences) and Bea Allen (Maths) are leading the training and development working group of the Digital Education Programme

For the 2020/21 academic year, we will need to adapt our teaching to a ‘blended’ approach (integrating online and on-campus activities). Some colleagues will already be familiar with this approach, while to others this will be wholly new. One of the strands of the Digital Education Programme is creating a series of training and development events and resources for everyone at Cardiff who is teaching or supporting teaching so we can offer a vibrant and engaged educational experience for our students in 2020/21 and beyond.

The programme will begin with a series of podcasts, supported by online discussions and digital resources. Each group of podcasts will culminate in an open themed Q&A session. We will also be releasing more extensive webinars, video guides, and bespoke training, to cover any aspects that need more detail. Finally, we have a series of exciting online events planned with leading experts in online learning from across the UK sector. These may be watched live, or as recordings.

The first set of releases will focus on the fundamentals of online and blended learning. These will include key terms and core concepts, things to consider for designing online curricula, and podcasts expanding on the five principles of the Digital Education Framework. This stage is aimed at establishing a firm foundation for everyone, regardless of their experience.

The next stage (through July and into August) will focus on putting these ideas into practice. What are the best ways to run online or blended teaching activities? What are the tricks and traps of these methods? What are the best ways to enhance student engagement? The programme will also be able to share numerous case studies of online teaching, assessment, supporting students, and community-building activities. These will provide examples of the options open to you, across a range of subject specialisms, for effective and engaging online learning. As we move towards the start of term, we will shift more towards the ‘nuts and bolts’ functions of the online tools available, and how to get the best out of them in practice.

Moving forward, we are also looking at how we go about embedding these approaches in our learning and teaching-related CPD for the future, and ways in which we can support online and blended learning to become part of the everyday student experience in a post-Covid-19 world.

Is there anything in particular you would like support on, then please let us know. From next month you will be able to contact the new Digital Education Support Service but in the meantime please email us at cesi@cardiff.ac.uk.

Written by Steve Rutherford
Digital Education Programme’s Training and Development Academic Lead

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