Online student for an hour – a basic approach to staff CPD

Angelica Risquez

University of Limerick

Paradoxically, in the midst of the revolution of Web 2.0 and mobile learning, many teachers in higher education still need to make their first transition towards technology enhanced learning. Some have never tried a blended approach in their teaching, many others have not used a learning management system before, and those who have, often reproduce traditional teaching methods based on content delivery (Cosgrave et al., 2008). This is partly due to the fact that most teachers have never experienced being an online student themselves and many worry about the technological learning curve involved in adopting new technologies or don’t see the point of it at all. In an ideal world, teachers should be allocated dedicated time and compensated for their investment in continuous professional development (CPD), but in reality competence is often acquired “on the go”. Here we present a simple approach to faculty training in the use of the institutional learning management system (LMS), which is based on short sessions where teachers have a playful and informal opportunity to experience being an online student in a sample course environment. No previous knowledge of the LMS is required and no guidance is provided, reproducing somewhat the experience that their own students undergo when first navigating the system. This has helped faculty to approach the use of the LMS from the perspective that technology is to respond to their teaching needs, not the other way round. This short talk will address our observations of this experience, and what attendants have reported.
Cosgrave, R., McAvinia, C., Risquez, A., & Logan-Phelan, T. (2008, 13-14 Noviembre). Uptake and usage of virtual learning environments: findings from a multi institutional student usage survey. Paper presented at the Second Annual Conference of the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, Waterford IT.

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