The Postgraduate Learning Design team has designed and developed online subjects and courses at UTS since 2016. We’ve worked with academics across UTS and we’re keen to share our learning design insights and online teaching examples from live UTS courses through our ‘Moving to online teaching’ Canvas course. 

With COVID19 co-occurring with the beginning of the Autumn 2020 session, UTS has had to make a rapid move to remote teaching. Although challenging, it’s been inspiring to see the hard work and resilience of our UTS community as we undertake this huge shift in teaching practice. For those pivoting temporarily to remote teaching, the LX Lab are here for assistance and advice. You can contact them for direct help and also visit LX Resources, in particular the Coronavirus toolkit for teaching.

If you’re keen to further explore the opportunities of online teaching and its affordances, check out ‘Moving to online teaching‘. We’ve put together this short Canvas course to provide advice, guidelines and case studies by your UTS colleagues on teaching fully online. In ‘Moving to online teaching’, you’ll learn how online delivery doesn’t have to mean complex, and in fact it’s best to start simple.

‘Face to face’ and ‘on-campus’ aren’t necessarily the same thing

Online teaching has long been about flexibility. Online means anywhere. Parents of young children, busy professionals and people who can’t travel easily were early adopters of online education. Synchronous or live sessions allow participants to connect from wherever they are on a range of devices. Online means anytime. The asynchronous elements of an online subject allow students and teachers the flexibility to manage the timing of their teaching and learning, often fitting around work and family commitments. Live sessions using Zoom, or similar tools, allow students and teachers to see and interact with each other, sometimes more easily than on-campus classes might. 

It’s like they’re all in the front row. In the Master of Genetic Counselling students spend up to eight hours a week in live online sessions of various kinds. We’re face-to-face in a virtual classroom with a group of interactive and engaged students.

Associate Professor Alison McEwan, the Graduate School of Health 

Your teaching can be great regardless of the level of technology

A lot of names, tools and applications get thrown around when talking about online teaching, but ultimately effective online teaching is about being authentic and engaged. Your learning management system, be it Canvas or UTSOnline (Blackboard), is the online home for your subject. Students can see the sequence of teaching and learning activities, access resources and can communicate with their peers and teaching staff. Online activities can include independent, or group work and can range from analysis and preparation through to practice, interpretation, reflection and consolidation. ‘Moving to online teaching’ takes you through how to do all these things and more.  

case study example
Case study example from ‘Moving to online learning’

You’ve never been more connected

In terms of teaching, online delivery allows us to be connected and global. Online activities can be designed to include collaborators in other disciplines, other universities, in industry and in the community. Projects can involve participants and expertise from around the globe, for example making comparisons across different sociocultural or physical environments. 

And in terms of teaching practice, even if this is your first foray into online teaching, remember that we’re all in this together. We’ve got a community of teaching staff right here at UTS. Have you been wondering how you can coordinate group work, cultivate teacher-talk, or make effective discussions online? ‘Moving to online teaching’ showcases examples by your UTS colleagues; easy, simple ideas that you can incorporate into your own teaching if you wish. 

What’s next?

‘Moving to online teaching’ is a deep dive into practicable online learning and teaching, with high-quality content that you can access and implement as per your needs. Enrol as a student to access the learning modules and follow the prompts to ‘enrol in course’. 

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