e-moderating course: online pedegogy


I’m now into the second week of the International House e-moderating course. This week we’re looking at The Online Learner and online pedagogy. I was really pleased to see a (small) section on blended learning reminding us to keep in mind how technology can be used to support f2f learning, not just to replace it.

As a keen advocate of technology to support learning I have quite a lot of experience of using technology in the classroom and as a tool to support independent learning out of the classroom (although not always so successfully for the second!) As I’ve said before on this blog, I was so very pleasantly surprised about the engagement with the CELTA blog last year but wasn’t so clear as to the reasons why, when previous years blogs had fallen so flat. This week, having looked at Gilly Salmon’s 5 stages of online learning, I think (some of) the trainees dived straight into stage 2: online socialisation. As a tutor I didn’t give any support in terms of stage 1: assess and motivation. I simply sent them an invite and let them get on with it. I saw it as an added extra really, something voluntary for them as added value to the f2f course, and didn’t consider the technical support they may need. Beyond the social aspect, the blog was predominantly stage 3: information exchange. Some of this information came from me posting links, audio recordings of TP feedback and photos of the WB, but lots of information also came from the trainees as well as further online socialisation activity.


In terms of the course VLE, I’m struggling to think about how this fits into Salmon’s five stages. I see the VLE as I have used it very much as a teaching tool, rather than as a learning tool. @Loujak78 suggests  five steps to developing online elements to courses, and I would say that my course has elements of the first two steps: it is an electronic handout and an online filing cabinet. While I do use some elements for differentiation in the form of wikis and forums, I haven’t really engaged with other aspects of Moodle and the social networking aspect has come through the blog.  I have started to think about how I can support new trainees with stage 1 of Salmon’s model through creating some screen casts, probably using Jing, but I’m not sure that the VLE will become a social space as I think a blog does this so much better.


As well as my own course I’ve been thinking about the staff development aspect of my role in college, and how to support and encourage HE staff to use Moodle effectively to support their students. One thing that doing this course is reminding me is that as well as technical barriers to incorporating technology into your teaching, I also think there are pedagogical barriers too. While there are similarities between teaching f2f and online it isn’t a straight like for like, yet there seems to be an assumption that staff will be able to transfer their skills with the minimal amount of support and training.

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