Overview of this week's topic

Week 4 

During  the previous 3 weeks you focused on induction, introductions, designing online activities and collaboration in learning activity design and support. In week 4 we turn to the topic of supporting student learning in the online environment. In many ways you have already started to explore this, however our attention this week focuses on critical incidents in the online environment and the processes and roles that have a significant impact on supporting online learners. This relates very well to Gilly Salmon's (2011) stages 4 & 5 ( link to the model). This week's topic is very strongly coupled with the brief for the course assignment for assessed participants. This is in fact an exploration of a critical incident from your own area of online teaching and learning practice.

Objective of week 4

  • Analyse , using a variety of evidence types, online learner support problems and recommend appropriate responses

The essential reading for the week is Anderson et al. (2001) which is a dimension of their Community of  Inquiry Framework and focuses on teaching presence in the online environment. Their definition of teaching presence consists of design and organisation, facilitation of discussion, and direction of instruction.

The role of the online teacher is complex and multi-faceted. As you can see from the videos/podcasts of supporting learners in online environments and the primary research papers that form the remainder of this week's reading, it is essential to identify how and where the roles of others can enhance teaching presence. So in essence this week we are focusing on developing processes and strategies to support learners in the online environment and strategies for preventing critical incidents or dealing with them if and when they arise.

For assessed participants this should enable you to start planning how you will go about completing the #TOOC14 assignment. For specific assignment information please follow the link.

We will also be focusing on the assignment during this week's webinar. One very important thing to consider is that if you are not currently within an online teaching and learning role, then your experience as an online learner will serve just as well to identify a critical incident to explore. Anyway we look forward to discussing this further during the week 4 webinar and forums.

Last modified: Friday, 7 March 2014, 12:28 PM