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Authentic e-design: An online professional development course for higher education practitioners

Parker, J. (2012) Authentic e-design: An online professional development course for higher education practitioners. In: 27th Annual Research Forum (Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc) Transforming practice: The value of educational research, 11 August 2012, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia

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In the field of education we have known for a long time, that people learn better when they are actively involved in the learning process. However, many online university courses are still primarily information dumping grounds that foster student isolation and boredom. A key challenge for university professionals is to identify how to construct more interactive, engaging and student-centred environments that promote 21st century skills and encourage self-directed learning. Existing research suggests the use of real-life tasks supported by new technologies, together with access to the vast array of open educational resources on the Internet, have the potential to improve the quality of online learning. This paper describes how an authentic online professional development course for higher education practitioners was designed and implemented. It describes the course aims and how the course was designed to provide university professionals with the opportunity to: experience online learning from a student perspective, learn how to use authentic learning guidelines to design their own real-life learning courses, explore how new technologies could be used as pedagogical tools to support student learning, and use online social media tools to network with their peers. It discusses the initial findings from the first implementation of the course and the effectiveness of the design approach. Finally, it offers recommendations for improving the next iteration of the course.

Keywords: Authentic learning, higher education, professional development

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
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