Developed as an international online course by Dr Simon McIntyre (UNSW Art & Design) and Dr Negin Mirriahi (UNSW Arts & Social Sciences) in 2014, the premise of the course is simple: help teachers understand how online technologies can enhance their current course design and teaching practice. But the impact it has had in the online learning world has been profound.
McIntyre said the LTTO had inspired as many as 50,000 active learners worldwide to date and has been widely recognised for its innovative approach, winning six national and international prizes.
“As a society, we are increasingly living in an online world – whether its shopping, banking or even dating – so we need to make sure that what we are teaching our students is in alignment with this new world. Promoting the human side of technology in courses allows students more time to engage and share with each other. LTTO enables teachers to be self-reflective about their abilities, helping them develop digital solutions that are personally relevant to their own teaching contexts and practices," McIntyre explains.
McIntyre said that the success of LTTO was due to its adaptability to all teaching styles and highlighted UNSW’s commitment to excellence in innovative teaching practices that add to a student’s educational experience.
“Integrating online technologies into your teaching can be a challenging prospect," McIntyre continues, "and it can be difficult to know how to approach it effectively for the benefit of both students and yourself. No one knows your own content and teaching strengths better than you, and the “one size fits all” formula doesn’t always suit everyone.
“LTTO is unique in its level of personalisation, and in its invitation to the learner to customize their own educational journey. Through online surveys, learners evaluate their own understanding of and interest in a range of online teaching practices’ they are then provided with targeted resource recommendations to help them develop their knowledge, skills and most importantly their confidence.
“So no matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring or your level of experience, this course will help you draw on your teaching strengths and find the approach that is right for you, your students and your educational context.”