UOW Preparing to Teach Online program nominated for top higher education award
Team helped academic staff transition to remote delivery during pandemic
The tremendous effort of the University of Wollongong’s Learning, Teaching and Curriculum (LTC) team in helping academic staff pivot to online learning earlier this year has been recognised in the Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) annual Higher Education Awards.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced all classes online in early April, LTC designed a full program, Preparing to Teach Online, to help staff transition as quickly and effectively as possible.
The program contains guides, videos, exemplars, resources, webinars, and key steps to aid academic staff in the successful development of online subjects. It was developed by LTC’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Education Specialists and Academic Development lecturers.
To date, these online resources have been accessed more than 50,000 times by UOW staff.
LTC’s Preparing to Teach Online has been selected as a finalist in the AFR 2020 awards, in the category of Learning Experience. AFR’s Higher Education Awards, now in their 6th year, recognise excellence in higher education and the contribution universities make to Australian communities.
Dr Alyce Mason, Manager TEL Education Specialist at UOW, said Preparing to Teach Online had been developed and delivered in an incredibly short period of time and under immense pressures as LTC adjusted to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
“This nomination is a real testament to the talent and effort of our LTC staff, who delivered 80 training webinars to more than 1700 UOW staff participants during the two-week session break at the end of March,” Dr Mason said.
“It was a huge ask but what the whole LTC team accomplished in that small space of time, and in the months after as they have continued to provide support and training to staff, is nothing short of remarkable.”
Professor Theo Farrell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) agreed.
“The quality and reach of the online training, resources and support is outstanding and has been fundamental to the success of our shift to remote delivery and providing the best possible learning experience for UOW students,” he said.
“It has been amazing to see how the whole university pulled together in rising the challenge of moving rapidly into remote delivery mode. Very positive feedback from students surveys, and student success in end of semester assessments, provide clear indicators that our academic staff have done a really terrific job.”
Winners of the AFR Higher Education Awards will be announced in the Australian Financial Review on Thursday 19 November.