The post-conference reflections continue…feeling more like a dream, snatches of memory here and there as the event fades under ongoing work weight. My presentation title was ‘e-teaching; moving from digitally shy to digitally confident with Blackboard Learn’. The message was shifting institutional investment to the technology users rather than its maintainers or managers. Evidence from colleagues who teach and support learning, who’ve taken part in Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA), suggests examining the e-teaching element of e-learning has the potential to make a real difference.
“…I realise now how naïve I was in the past to simply open the discussion board with a question and expect the students to participate. As a tutor I have to make it possible for my students to participate through the design of my tasks…”
“… It seems obvious now that the lack of student engagement with my online resources was due to inappropriate design. I placed too much emphasis on text based, self-directed learning and didn’t recognise the important roles of self and peer assessment, interaction between students and probably most importantly, investing time in building solid foundations and helping students develop skills for online learning.”
“…Being an online learner is confusing and disorientating. There is no tutor to check what you are doing ‘is right’…”
“As a tutor in the classroom you can be on hand to make connections for students or clarify activity instructions. This is less easy online, you have to almost pre-empt questions…”
In the beginning there was a triad of technology, students and teachers. The technology has been promoted as transformational, the student as in need of engagement, the teacher as…….errr…..well, maybe their time will come through the growing realising e-teaching is the missing link. With technology playing an increasing role in design and delivery of learning opportunities on and off campus, assumptions about digital confidence have to become more realistic.
The Blackboard people posted the first comment during the conference but it could just as easily have said the second 🙂