Online Learning Standards:
Steps to Introduce a Distributed Leadership Approach to Training Teachers for Online Teaching and Learning.
Since the introduction of online learning platforms in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), there has long been a difficulty in encouraging a broad and even adoption of those platforms by all teaching staff. The creation of templates, modelled baselines, and standards has helped enormously to make teaching staff feel more comfortable in the online space, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Standards, however, need to be adapted for the specific context where they are being used. In one innovative Engineering programme in a university in Ireland, staffed largely by subject matter experts from the Engineering industry, where adherence to standards is an established practice, we are trialling the communication of best practice on online learning and teaching through specifically created standards, to mirror their industry experience. To allow this cohort to become comfortable with the standards, they have been introduced through the lens of heutagogy, as asynchronous, access any-time, self-directed resources. Once familiar to the team, we will develop a community of practice around extending knowledge of the standards, thereby leading the teaching staff via a distributed leadership approach where we influence teaching practice, rather than presenting ourselves as the sole authority. This paper gives an account of the initiative as we introduce these standards.
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