JUST IN TIME – JUST FOR ME: THE NEED FOR PROXIMATE HELP WHEN ADAPTING TO ONLINE TEACHING

J. Barnes, S. Harlow

University of Waikato (NEW ZEALAND)
Online teaching offers pedagogical and other advantages, but it also presents technical challenges to teaching staff charged with offering university courses online. Adaptive learning, an educational technology term du jour, aims to personalise learning for students. We argue that professional learning for teaching staff should also be adapted and personalised to the needs of staff, one size cannot fit all. However, traditional, centralised Help Desk support often fails to meet the immediate needs of a busy academic.

This paper documents the experience of adapting and developing an online paper and the importance of collaborating with a friendly, enthusiastic, e-learning designer who is prepared to give his personal assistance. We demonstrate the use of the Dialogue activity in the Learning Management System ‘Moodle’ to replace what are considered to be traditional tools for teaching and learning to much more effect and show how timely and personal technical support was an important element in making a successful transition from lecture theatre based teaching to an online teaching environment.