The Troublesome Edge of Teaching Online: Using Threshold Concepts to Design Professional Learning Curricula for Novice Online Teachers

Community Engagement Type


Publication Date


Publication Details

This publication was originally published as:

Northcote, M., Gosselin, K., Rickards, T., Reynaud, D., Kilgour, P., McLoughlin, C., . . . Boddey, K. (2016, June 15-17). The troublesome edge of teaching online: Using threshold concepts to design professional learning curricula for novice online teachers. Paper presented at the 6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.dal.ca/dept/clt/events-news/Threshold_Concepts.html

Reportable Items



Using online teaching threshold concepts in transformative professional learning curricula for novice online educators

Partner/Funding Body:OLT Seed Projects

Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Maria Northcote, A/Prof Daniel Reynaud, Dr Peter Kilgour, Mr Chris Boddey

Other Researchers: A/Prof Kevin P Gosselin, A/Prof Catherin McLoughlin, Mr Tony Rickards

Partner Institutions: Australian Catholic University, Curtin University, Texas A&M University (USA)

Year Awarded: 2016

By exploring the threshold concepts held by experienced and novice online educators, and the perceptions of online learning by teachers and students, this project sets out to develop research-informed curriculum design guidelines that may be used by academic developers and university administrators to develop professional learning programs for novice higher education online teachers. These curriculum design guidelines will comprise pedagogical principles, practical applications and exemplars of effective online course design which will be made available through an open website. Data will be gathered from both university/college lecturers and their students using online questionnaires, focus groups and reflective journals. Threshold concepts are defined as “core concepts that once understood, transform perception of a given subject” (Meyer & Land, 2003) and troublesome knowledge (Perkins, 2006) is knowledge that challenges the learner and can cause cognitive conflict as learners compare new ideas with their prior knowledge.

Rate of Impact

2 Medium Impact

Details of Project

Details of the project, a workshop presentation conducted at a conference, are contained in this conference proceeding.


Due to copyright restrictions this article is unavailable for download

This conference presentation may be accessed from the publisher here.

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