The Learning to Teach Online project is a free professional development resource designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations. COFA Online is an academic unit at the College of Fine Arts (COFA), The University of New South Wales (UNSW) that has been innovating online pedagogy, academic professional development and effective online learning strategies since 2003. You can find out more about funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Competitive Grant Scheme to help improve the perception and application of online learning and teaching pedagogy in educational contexts.
Overall, the films are intended to inform educators on the use of current online technology possibilities. Each of the nine videos and eleven case studies feature a specific area such as: Learning Management Systems, Online Tools, Planning your Online Class, Discussion Boards, etc. The site notes that the materials will support those who are new to online teaching and extend knowledge for those who are already engaged in that pursuit.
Target Student Population:
Graduate students, 9-12 faculty, and higher education faculty
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None, but some knowledge of pedagogy and content knowledge would be useful.
Type of Material:
Professional development for faculty and graduate students
High speed internet connection needed to run video clips.
Evaluation and Observation
Videos are short, to the point, clearly describe the issue, and are delivered by practicing faculty. PDF files augment the videos and provide even more information. Some include bibliographies as well. The online forum allows for conversations among those who view the videos.
The site seems more appropriate for beginning online teachers.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Written, audio, and visual material is available 24/7. Access to the forum where other educators who are teaching online is beneficial to participants. The site has potential for either individual learning or group learning in a staff development approach. There is a technical glossary (including videos) to support learning. The information is updated periodically. Users can rate the videos, although few have been rated at the time of this review.
With the speed of technology, some of the videos might be outdated quickly. So keeping material current will certainly be an issue.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use. Clear labeling allows users to access all areas of the site. The menu bar on the left remains consistent throughout the site. Users can link through social media. Registration at the site is free.