About this course

With the current growth in online education, teachers are increasingly being asked to adapt their teaching skills to the online environment. Moving learning ‘online’ is seen as a way of enhancing student learning in terms of:

  • Creating a flexible learning environment conducive to students’ busy lifestyles and employment schedules
  • Providing access to a greater depth and breadth of content-rich learning materials
  • Increasing opportunities for interaction, peer feedback and group work skills
  • Providing immediate feedback and positive reinforcement
  • Facilitating dialogue between and among teachers and students
  • Monitoring teaching and learning processes
  • Minimising costs
  • Standardising course content and learning materials

However, the successful introduction of web-based eLearning technologies doesn’t just happen by itself. It’s not just a matter of learning how to press buttons in the latest software. Teachers need to rethink their educational design and teaching strategies in order to sustain elearning as a positive force in helping students achieve better learning outcomes. This course has been put together to help teachers become active participants in the design and implementation of eLearning.

Structure of the course

The course is organised into five modules. You can either work through the modules sequentially or you can dip in and out. You can use it as an ongoing resource to refer back to or as a jumping off point for learning more about online delivery. Each module contains activities for you to complete using an online learning journal.

  • Module 1: Getting prepared—gets you set up and ready to work through the course and undertake the various activities.
  • Module 2: Designing a blended learning unit—looks at designing the online environment and covers planning how to present your materials, how to set your learning outcomes and make sure your learning activities are aligned.
  • Module 3 Developing learning activities and assessments—will provide ideas about designing effective learning activities to make sure your students are actively participating in their learning
  • Module 4 Online communication—covers various aspects of online communication in the online environment, and
  • Module 5 Managing your online unit—in this module, you will learn how to manage your online site to keep track of how your students are progressing and manage assignments and grades.

Who should do this course?

This course is an online learning experience designed for anyone who wants to teach online. Although the course was developed primarily for teachers teaching in Swinburne's Associate Degree in Engineering program, it is appropriate for any staff at Swinburne who are looking for ways to successfully integrate a blending learning strategy into their teaching delivery. All teachers in the Associate Degree program are expected to complete all five modules of the course. Participants are expected to have familiarity with Swinburne’s Learning Management System (Blackboard iLearn) and the web (including surfing, searching, and social networking).

Even if you’ve been teaching with eLearning for some time and think you know all you need to know, completing this course will further your knowledge and enable you to support your colleagues and help them with ideas.

What do I need to do?

This course is designed for self-motivated, self-directed learners. Reflective tasks using an online learning journal are a key component of the course. Participants will use their journal posts to document their activities in the course.

Why is this important to me?

In the current climate, there is increased pressure on teachers to deliver effective learning as efficiently as possible and opportunities for working with students on an individual basis are becoming fewer. By becoming proficient in the eLearning environment, you will be able to use the benefits of eLearning to support your students and help them to become more independent in their learning and to collaborate more effectively.

One of the key challenges of the eLearning environment is selecting and incorporating external resources. The TeachweL course has been designed to be used in conjunction with the Challengineering.com catalogue of eLearning resources which has been developed to support engineering programs at Swinburne. Those who complete the course will be armed with a wealth of strategies for incorporating the Challengineering resources (and other web-based resources) into their teaching and for enhancing student engagement via blended learning.

Importantly, teachers working in the VET sector will find that the learning outcomes specified in this course have been designed to align with elements of the unit of competency TAEDEL501A Facilitate eLearning (part of the TAE10 - Training and Education Training package). By completing the assigned tasks within this course, you will be able to provide evidence for a number of elements within the unit, helping you satisfy your requirements.

When should I complete the course?

You can take the course at any time that suits you. It’s best, however, to work through the modules while you are preparing your unit prior to the start of semester. That way you can use your upcoming unit as the practice unit and add components to it as you work through the course. You will then be ready for the start of semester.

Note that the course is available at all times; you can start at any time and take as long as you wish. If you forget something or want to review one of the modules, you can always come back to it.

To get started, click on Module 1 in the navigation menu.