A project to partner with the FutureLearn platform in the BA Online – a full Bachelor of Arts degree, including four majors and its core courses (over 30 subjects) – has changed the way academics think about designing and teaching humanities at the University of Newcastle.

Educators report they are taking their positive experience back into classroom teaching. They have introduced new formats for the teaching of arts, humanities and social science subjects that are less “content” oriented and involve more inquiry-based and interactive pedagogies. As part of this, they have developed digital assets that are being reused and repurposed. Along the way, staff have engaged global and degree learners together in three-week open courses, improving and increasing their teacher presence and visibility as educators.

Students actively learn online by accessing the programme’s courses in four modules of three weeks. Each week students learn through a variety of steps: watching, commenting, reading, polling, and engaging with interactive edtech solutions, and keeping up with the narrative of the course, all of which is acknowledged through weekly completion achievements.

One highlight is the innovation of asking students to create a short visual piece as an Acknowledgment of Country, which has had the dual outcome of involving students in this important action, researching Indigenous names and places and sharing those back with the class, and also enabling them to learn to create a digital artefact for the class.

The past two years have seen a vast uptake in on-line learning which can be transformative for both learners and educators. What are your recent successes in on-line learning?

Professor Catharine Coleborne, Head of School HASS, University of Newcastle [email protected] @CathyColeborne

Dr Clare Lloyd , Senior Manager, Education Development, University of Newcastle [email protected] @clare_lloyd

University of Newcastle is a member of CAULLT (Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching)




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