ADCET/NCSEHE webinar: Three Essentials in moving online
1 April 2020
The NCSEHE, in partnership with the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET), hosted a webinar on 1 April 2020, presented by NCSEHE Fellows Dr Cathy Stone and Dr Nicole Crawford.
The webinar was attended by nearly 400 participants who actively engaged with the presenters and gained timely advice during this period of rapid transition to online teaching.
In these unfamiliar times, universities are suddenly needing to move face-to-face courses online. The presenters have previously written that this can be a tall order, even for experienced educators. However, including the “three essentials” that this webinar outlined meant that even a hastily-developed online course can still deliver an effective and engaging learning experience for students.
With the need to quickly convert face-to-face classes, guidelines developed from recent Australian research can offer some direction. While it won’t be possible to follow them all immediately, there are three essentials to aim for:
- Recognise the diversity of student needs, including the need for flexibility to combine study with multiple other commitments and needs.
- A strong teacher-presence is crucial. Students need regular and meaningful communication with teachers to remain engaged and connected with their learning community.
- Interactive and engaging course design, e.g. short videos; varied formats and content, through simple-to-use technology.
This webinar talks more about these three essentials and ways they can be delivered.
About the presenters
Dr Cathy Stone is an independent consultant and researcher in the field of post-secondary student equity, retention and success. She is a Conjoint Associate Professor in Social Work at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and an Adjunct Fellow with the NCSEHE at Curtin University, Australia. As an active researcher, Cathy’s publications focus particularly on the experiences of mature-age, First-in-Family and online students. The Final Report from her 2016 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship has provided National Guidelines for Improving Outcomes in Online Learning for the post-secondary education sector.
Dr Nicole Crawford is a NCSEHE 2019/20 Equity Fellow and Lecturer in Pre-degree Programs at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Her research focuses on equity and inclusion in higher education, including enabling education; mature-aged students; regional and remote students; and student and staff mental wellbeing. She initiated UTAS’s Social Inclusion Community of Practice, and the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia (NAEEA) Special Interest Group on Mental Health.