Microcredentials · Editorial

Online Teaching: How to take your course online

Learning online and collaborating in person.

Our microcredential Online Teaching: Evaluating and Improving Courses has been developed for educators to swiftly move their courses online.

The Covid-19 pandemic has driven many organisations to move their courses and teaching online, at an unprecedented speed. With the likelihood of social distancing, remote working and a new normal for everyday life, the skills to be able to ensure learning and teaching are need for expertise in technology-enhanced learning and online teaching will also continue.

The new 12-week microcredential, Online Teaching: Evaluating and Improving Courses is designed for individual educators, trainers and learning institutions, to provide support and ensure the ongoing success of online courses and technology-enhanced learning provision.

As it has been designed to be used cross-sector, the course will support educators to create an ethical course evaluation framework, analyse cause and effect relationships in their findings, share insights with stakeholders, choosing data collection methods, and improve successful impacts of their online courses.

Discussing the swift transition that has taken place across the education sector, Dr Martin Weller, Associate Director of IET's Curriculum programme, stated:

"The sudden need to deliver online learning for many universities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a lot of people wanting to understand how to deliver teaching with a blended approach, particularly with most universities aiming for a blended approach for the 2020-21 academic year."

"With the aftermath of the pandemic and the closure of universities, emergency procedures were suitable in the months which led to summer 2020. However looking ahead to September and the start of the 2020-21 academic year, it became clear that students would want a more robust experience and course leaders would want to deliver a more integrated curriculum."

"From what we have seen with registrants to the Online Teaching microcredentials, people want to come to a reliable provider to understand how to do certain things and what to consider to get a basis of how to take their learning forward."

In order to ensure a course syllabus is suitable for online learning, the 12-week course will equip learners with best-practice educational evaluation techniques to identify and interpret what is and is not working in respect of an online course.

Rather than putting lectures designed for in-person learning online, course-learners will gain an understanding of how to create an ethical evaluation strategy for specific contexts and settings, and significantly, determine the effectiveness of online courses and teaching practices.

Discussing why putting lectures, designed for on-campus learning, online is not effective, Dr Weller stated:

"It is a very different thing to switch from doing face to face lectures to doing learning online. The immediate response may be to deliver lectures online, but that is not actually effective."

"Attention span does not tend to last as much online as it does in a lecture. There is not the same interaction with a lecturer as a student would experience in a hall, which can be a communal experience."

"Putting lectures designed for a hall online does not take advantage of the opportunities of the new online medium. It is okay to deliver some kinds of content that way, but it does not take advantage of students being able to communicate efficiently, to find different resources online, to work asynchronously, or to collaborate together.

"There are range of other things that can be done on this new medium, so it’s a waste to replicate the same face-to-face course-content."

The microcredential runs three times a year, over the course of 10-12 weeks. Find out more information on how to register here.