Week 4 – Teaching and Learning

This week’s Teaching and Learning theme was an important practical theme for me to take this learning to my workplace. In my workplace, we are changing the way we teach in the typical classroom, we are introducing online modalities for courses and trying new teaching methods from what we have done traditionally. Understanding best practices for teaching and learning in the 21st is of great interest to me.
I particularly found the “Redefining Teaching: The Five Roles of the Online Instructor” (Taylor-Massey, 2015) article a key resource for me to take back to my professional role. In the article Taylor-Massey states “In an online venue, I find that I lead, but in a different way. I am less a lecturer, and more a mentor. I am less a disseminator, and more a facilitator. Student learning is less about me, and more about them. (Taylor-Massey, 2015). This statement encompasses how we want learning to feel in our classrooms, however, we don’t want that to stop at online learning only. This type of teaching and learning should be modeled in face to face classrooms as well.
From this article, a key takeaway was the 5 roles of the online instructor. Being a learning designer, tech specialist, in particular are important skills to have as an online facilitator and sometimes these roles are overlooked when seasoned faculty who are used to teaching face to face, are introduced to teaching online.
Particularly at OISE, I would like to see more masters courses offered online (to engage the international and domestic market more readily), however, this would be a large undertaking to make it effective. Simply putting course materials onto Blackboard won’t generate the type of learning needed in an online platform.
Another thought that was spurred from the article is that if all of our teaching staff (at all levels) were better learning designers, tech specialists, coaches, community developers – all courses, online, blended and face to face would benefit. And at a program and institutional level we would have something to gloat about and market!
This week has given me some great ideas to bring forward to my team to consider how we can help prepare our teaching team to be better prepared to make an impact in their learning classrooms both face to face and online.
Reference: Taylor-Massey, J. (2015). Redefining Teaching: The Five Roles of the Online Instructor. Retrieved online: http://blog.online.colostate.edu/blog/online-teaching/redefining-teaching-the-five-roles-of-the-online-instructor/
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