Teaching the Lecturers: Academic Staff Learning About Online Teaching

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This article was originally published as:

Northcote, M., Reynaud, D., & Beamish, P. (2012). Teaching the lecturers: Academic staff learning about online teaching. US-China Education Review, 3(4), 384–393.

ISSN: 2161-623X


130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators

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Developing online teaching skills can occur through involvement in learn-by-doing strategies, which incorporates informal, organic or need-driven strategies. Such processes are sometimes labeled as “bottom-up” staff development processes. In other contexts, teaching staff are formally directed to develop online teaching skills through a series of compulsory staff development workshops or courses. These approaches typically include “top-down” staff development processes. This paper describes how a group of tertiary teaching staff extended their on-campus and distance teaching repertoire of skills to include online teaching skills. In this case, the process of staff development began with collecting data about the concerns and practices of the teaching staff involved. An analysis of the data informed the development of a “middle-out” staff development strategy which comprised a mixture of informal and formal strategies, and acknowledged the ethos of the institution and the specific needs of the staff involved. This professional development program incorporated a group of 11 informal and formal strategies. This paper presents an analysis of the data that were gathered during this project alongside the professional development strategies that were developed as a result of this analysis.


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