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I’ve blogged about the  free Learning to Teach Online video series (LTTO) from the University of New South Wales before. (The original post, which includes 4 other online teaching video resources, is here). What’s especially good about the LTTO videos resource? It includes:

  • a total of 30+videos on a range of online teaching-related issues
  • advice from experienced online teachers in a range of disciplines
  • examples of best practice in online teaching
  • online teaching case studies
  • a consideration of issues and challenges (it’s not all roses!)
  • accompanying PDF files with strategies and tips, and links to further reading

Overall this is an excellent resource for online tutors. Below is one of my favourite videos, about motivating and engaging students online.

There are many more LTTO videos, this is a resource well worth exploring. So I was delighted to recently have the pleasure of meeting Simon McIntyre, one of the LTTO project members, in Sydney, and to get the back story to LTTO. Here is what he has to say about the project:

Why did you decide to create the Learning to Teach Online video series?

We decided to create the Learning to Teach Online resource because we were becoming increasingly aware of a gap in the type of learning and teaching support available for online and blended courses. There is a lot of scholarly information about different online teaching approaches available, but  we realise that everyone is extremely busy, and can’t dedicate huge amounts of time to wading through the literature, finding what is relent to them and then trying to determine how to try the ideas for themselves.

How many people were involved in the LTTO videos? Are they all from the same university department?

We wanted to use this concept to create a pragmatic, conversational style cross-disciplinary resource that would have the same feeling as popping down the corridor and asking advice from a colleague who has had first hand experience of online teaching. We interviewed 53 people for the resource including students, academics, deans, librarians, support staff from 18 different disciplines in 18 institutions in 3 countries.

What is the thinking behind the LTTO videos?

It was important that the resources focused mostly upon pedagogy, as technology will always change, and can be a turn off for people if it is discussed before an understanding of why online teaching is relevant and important is developed. Learning to Teach Online is designed to help people build confidence and give them ideas they can easily apply to their own circumstances. We wanted to take a warts and all approach, where teachers shared the difficulties as well as the successes, as often online learning is discussed at a macro level by institutions, all ‘polish and efficiencies’. It is hard work, it can be daunting for the uninitiated, but we wanted the resources to show that it also worthwhile and can become an incredibly engaging and effective way to learn and teach.

How successful has the project been, and what’s next?

We are thrilled that Learning to Teach Online has received around 170,000 unique views to date from a wide range of education escorts and disciplines from so many countries. It is great to know that so many people can relate to and be helped by the resource. We plan on developing more episodes focused on mobile learning pending government funding.

If you’d like to find out more about the project, see here.

Let me know what you think of this resource in the Comments below!

Nicky Hockly
The Consultants-E
October 2012