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Teaching online

This Unit Coordinator describes strategies to engage and challenge his students both in class and for on-line teaching. More...

I joined this Faculty three years ago to teach an elective Psychology unit with 350 enrolments. Initially students were enrolled on and off campus during semester, but the unit now runs during summer school, and I still coordinate it. Next year it will become a core unit and students are already asking me whether I will remain involved. In my early lecturing days I worried that students might ask questions I was unable to answer but I knew they would see through any falseness so treated them respectfully and answered honestly. I like to explain my rationale for my actions and keep my students informed. I can usually win over reluctant students with both interesting and challenging material so that I have no worries about maintaining authority in my classes.

Student feedback for an online unit I coordinate is positive because I maintain a good presence and produce separate student booklets for on campus and online students. SKYPE is used regularly for communication with off campus students. I allocate break out rooms, students log in at set times and I provide consultation sessions. Assignments are submitted in both hard copy and electronically and I insist they run their electronic material though the university plagiarism tool before submission. While assessing my students’ work I aim to offer effective, encouraging and supportive formative feedback before any summative task or exam.

I also like to keep my unit materials up to date. Two years ago I assumed responsibility for another unit that was unchanged for eleven years. Rewriting the unit was my priority because the content was simply too old and too out dated to present to my students. While it was a challenge I saw the rewrite as fulfilling my obligations as a competent unit coordinator. I also enjoy working with post graduate students and work with both Honours, Masters’ and Doctoral students here.

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