LEARNING TO TEACH PRACTICAL SKILLS IN AN ONLINE COURSE
Queensland University of Technology (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This paper explores the learning of a university academic and four groups of pre-service science teachers as they engaged in online learning of practical science laboratory skills. Following a university decision to offer completely on-line training for graduate pre-service science teachers, academic staff received little or no assistance in e-learning online pedagogy skills. Likewise, students received no assistance in adjusting to this new type of subject presentation. Through self reflection and peer review, it was found that the academic initially adopted Mayes Conceptualisation Cycle to deliver the online course. Little student learning was found to have occurred. The academic needed to acquire an understanding of the pedagogy underpinning the online environment which included an awareness of the processes that students learnt and interacted with technology. A new conceptualisation of e-learning and online learning and teaching was sought. The Gilly Salmon “5 stage model and e-moderating “ was found to be very versatile in that the academic had a structured model to guide the development and delivery of course materials. Most notable finding is the level of shared peer support evident in the online discussion between class members. The paper has implications for tertiary teaching in practical courses where the learning has to move beyond traditional comfort zones and established pedagogies.
Keywords: science education, online course, practical laboratory skills.