Facilitating Online Course: Supporting Online & Blended Teaching  

27 May 2017 - 14:00

UCT staff have the opportunity to apply for a free online professional development course Facilitating Online. It provides a solid foundation for facilitating online events and courses. We offer up to 15 places for UCT colleagues in each run of the course.The next course starts on 19 June and runs until 11 August (apply by 9 June 2017 for UCT colleagues).
Facilitating Online is registered as a UCT short course and successful course completion is recognised with a UCT short course certificate. The course was developed by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its support for the e/merge Africa network. The course recruits participants from across higher education institutions in Africa and is convened by Tony Carr and Nicola Pallitt and co-facilitated by facilitators from across the continent. 
What would you say to lecturers considering taking up the opportunity to do this course? 
Tony: The Facilitating Online course supports educators to experience an entirely online course as a student and to learn perspectives and strategies that will make them more effective in the design and teaching of online and blended courses. One of the key challenges that we face in taking courses online is that learning activities and resources designed for face-to-face teaching and learning may not work very well in online environments. You will be in a better position to make this transition successfully if you are equipped with some useable concepts, new communication practices and experiential knowledge of online learning. 
Nicola: If you have never taken a MOOC, or been involved in online or blended courses as a student it can be quite hard to envision where to start. So much of the learning about online facilitation in this course is experiential. Lecturers experience social presence and immediacy techniques modelled by our facilitation team and then start to become aware of and practise these themselves. Lecturers find their online educator voice and develop a sense that online and blended learning is not just about putting materials online - it’s about creating flexible and meaningful learning experiences for students. It gets lecturers thinking about social learning opportunities and incorporating student voices in curricula rather than being the ‘sage on the stage’. 
Statements of recommendations from UCT colleagues:
“I learned many facilitation skills that I am now able to apply with my own students. I would recommend the course highly to anyone embarking on the online teaching and learning journey.”
Dr Judith McKenzie, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences 
“If you want to learn about the facilitation aspect of online education, and are interested in experiential learning, you should definitely consider this course. It will expose you to a broad range of tools, activities, techniques and other important considerations, both as a potential facilitator and also - most powerfully for me - as an online student.”
Associate Professor Jimmy Winfield, College of Accounting, 2016 Distinguished Teacher Award recipient
Please find more information about the course and application details here
Some resources for interest:

  • ‘The Human in the Web Space’ Catherine Fortune and Irene Maweu (webinar recording)
  • Facilitating Online Course Leader’s Guide (OER on OpenUCT)
  • Facilitating Online 3.0: Moving with the times - Sakai Virtual Conference presentation by Nicola Pallitt (webinar recording)
  • You may also want to watch a recording of one the network’s recent online events about leveraging online presence and e-collaboration presented by Dr. Kelly Elander from Harding University. 
  • Online facilitation expert Nancy White explains the difference between online and face-to-face facilitation in this video interview.