This January, the National Forum will roll-out its second national iteration of an online open course entitled ‘Getting Started with Online Teaching’, following its open call for registration. This free fully online course will be delivered to 40 participants across further and higher education for six weeks from 27 January in partnership with Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Technological University Dublin.
The course aims to build confidence and experience of academic and support staff in taking initial steps into online teaching, to try out new approaches, and to focus on improvements in online course design and teaching. On the latest rollout, Dr Roisin Donnelly, National Forum Open Course Co-Ordinator, commented, “Making a commitment to your professional development is more important now than ever in Irish higher education, and to help navigate the fast-paced challenges and changes recently experienced. Our short open courses can support you in transitioning through these particularly uncertain times in terms of planning for your professional role and working context, enabling you to find unity with your peers in the teaching and learning community.”
The National Forum’s open course initiative began in 2017 following open consultation and saw 15 initial courses designed in partnership with collaborating higher education institutions across the country. Participants who complete a short open course can gain recognition for the development of particular skills and knowledge relevant to their teaching and learning practice by claiming a digital badge endorsed by the National Forum. Each course, that leads to a National Forum digital badge, typically takes 25 personal study hours to complete. To date, over 1,500 digital badges have been awarded to staff across the sector. The Getting Started with Online Teaching course was developed in partnership with Hibernia College, University of Limerick, and Cork Institute of Technology.
This course is the latest in a series of upcoming courses and follows the recently completed ‘Universal Design for Learning’ and ‘PACT: Getting Started with Professional Development’ courses that saw further and higher education participants from across Ireland earn their nationally recognised digital badge award. The National Forum has co-ordinated this important initiative in alignment to the National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education.
The National Forum will be providing further access to professional development opportunities in an upcoming official launch in February of this year of a newly designed open course’s website, including the remaining spring course schedule, a series of year-round self-study courses, and open license downloadable and reusable materials for all open courses.
To view all upcoming open courses this spring and to express your interest in upcoming calls for registration, visit opencourses.teachingandlearning.ie.