Teaching Online

Teachers in universities are increasingly using online or blended course delivery, and UNSW teachers are no exception. Using online tools and Student-Centred Teaching you can create a vibrant student community that enriches your face-to-face teaching and streamlines the assessment process.

What you need to bring to online teaching

You'll be able to learn appropriate technologies, introduce them in your classes and use them to good effect in teaching and learning if you:

  • have a sound knowledge of educational principles
  • can select the right tool for your own teaching context
  • can understand whether a particular technology is best-placed to achieve learning goals.

Before introducing technology, consider the time and effort it will take for you to:

  • gain proficiency in using technologies
  • revise your course design (some courses require substantial revision to be effective)
  • manage teacher and student workload.

What makes a good online course?

Online learning activities and resources, to be effective, should be:

  • well integrated with other aspects of the course such as face-to-face classes.
  • clearly Aligned with assessments and course Learning Outcomes
  • presented with clear explanations of your expectations. Tell your students what you expect from them in terms of participation online, and be prepared to  support them to engage with the online environment.

Blended course delivery

In blended courses, include varying combinations of:

  • information technologies—videoconferencing, audioconferencing, Internet, CD-ROM and other media
  • appropriate learning technologies (learning management systems such as Moodle)
  • on-site facilitated activities
  • on-demand learner support systems.

For example, you might deliver some materials on line, through web pages, discussion boards and/or email. But you might still use traditional teaching methods such as lectures, in-person discussions, seminars or tutorials, depending on the content you're teaching, the context you're using it in, and the audience you're delivering it to.

The following diagram shows you different ways you might combine online and traditional delivery when you're developing a blended learning approach to your course.

Variations of Blended Learning

(Extracted from "Blended Learning: A Report on the ELI Focus Session", Veronica Diaz and Malcolm Brown, ELI Paper 2: 2010, November, p. 10.)

Further resources

Elsewhere in this site, you can find the following resources:

Samples of facilitation guides for self-facilitated project groups

External resources

Facilitating online groups