14 poster

Learning to teach online online: Training remote facilitators in postgraduate veterinary science programs

Ruth Laxton
R. L. Learning Designs, Sydney

Hannah Forsyth, Jenny-Ann Toribio
University of Sydney

The Veterinary Public Health Management Program at the University of Sydney is an online postgraduate program, a small component of which is taught by staff, while the majority is taught by a range of industry experts who are located around Australia and internationally.

Our challenge was how best to train and induct these external facilitators in teaching online in the program – all within a limited budget and time constraints.  Our solution is an online tutorial which gives the facilitators basic skills in online facilitation and an orientation to the program.

The online teaching tutorial focuses on:

  • Developing core skills in using the learning software
  • Characteristics of effective online learning activities
  • Conducting valid and authentic assessment in an online environment
  • Supporting and assessing collaborative learning approaches

Given our facilitators are practicing and busy experts with altruistic motivations for teaching, it was necessary to design the teaching tutorial with the flexibility to work through topics of interest at times that are convenient with information and activities chunked and pitched at different levels for facilitators with previous teaching experience and those without. Feedback and teacher performance has demonstrated the online teaching tutorial to be an effective method of training remote facilitators.

Keywords: online teaching, e-moderating, training external teachers, industry participants in teaching