In response to COVID-19, FutureLearn launched its very first own-branded course developed and taught by in-house online teaching and learning experts, called “How to Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students”. The course was designed to give teachers practical steps towards online teaching and to act as a space where educators worldwide could connect and share their experiences and best practices.
We spoke to Holly Warren, Deputy Head of Early Years at an International School in Italy about her experiences with the course and what she gained from it.
What were your motivations for joining the ‘How to Teach Online Course’?
I have recently completed a degree with Honours online and have found this approach ground breaking in my learning path. With the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school I work in went online. It was time to enhance my knowledge of teaching this time rather than learning online.
What has your experience of the course been like?
Learning never stops and the course gave me an overview of how to approach teaching online. As a teacher and coordinator in the early years, I experienced it as a foundation to creating an online environment. Although teaching very young kids online might not be the first choice, it can be experienced as a tool to connect and reinforce learning. Asynchronous teaching can work very well and video-making can become a great creative tool to deliver learning proposals.
What have you found most enjoyable about the course and most useful?
The scaffolding concept of building knowledge as in the Beetham & Sharpe pyramid and connecting with a vast community and reading different experiences.
How will you apply the skills or knowledge learnt from the course into practice?
At the moment, I am still experimenting with the material I have learnt from planning, concepts, assessment and contexts. The pyramid theory is the starting point as it is the gateway to further developments. Also mentoring and learning how to connect with my students. I feel it is still early days.
What have been some of your key learnings from taking the course?
No matter how abstract and presumably far fetched, concepts can be tailored to all. By adapting the concepts to your learners and keeping a flexible mind, learning can reach every corner of education.
The second run of the ‘How to Teach Online: Providing Continuity to Students’ course is currently open for enrolments.