We teach as we were/are taught

Revd Dr John Capper | Director of Learning and Teaching

It is, perhaps, a truism that we begin, or relapse, to teach as we were taught.

This creates particular challenges when the context is as dramatically changed as it is from classroom to online!  Even teaching as we were taught takes considerable effort for the online context.  There has to be technology involved, where once it was simply enough for student and teacher to be in the same place at the same time.

The challenge of transitioning to online teaching was tackled by online education experts and a former belly dancer at the recent HERDSA Conference. Angela Carbone and Kim Anh Dang (Monash) and Cathryn McCormack (Southern Cross U) investigated the trajectory of ten academics who were engaged in curriculum design as they reflected on how they became the teacher they are today.  The academics were divided on their own sense of confidence teaching online.  Most recognised their own lack of “vision and conceptions of learning design for online teaching”.

How was the transition from good classroom teaching to successful online teaching achieved?  Through support and encouragement (rather than compulsion) and from experience as a student in an online learning environment. This assists in developing a new encompassing vision and the skills needed alongside confidence for online teaching.

The University of Divinity’s Graduate Certificate in Theological Education, offered to our teachers in 2017 and from 2018 to all who teach in theology, builds on the self-concept of the teacher and offers learning experiences both online and in class to build skills and vision for teaching online — and for engaging face to face as well.

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