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Peer review is common practice in research, but when it comes to teaching, things look slightly different. Teaching tends to be a rather individual endeavour, without much exchange taking place, neither within the same discipline nor between disciplines. With all the various duties and commitments, teachers find it difficult to make time to talk to their peers about their teaching practice. Nevertheless, done in an effective manner, this dialogue can bring about many benefits for all involved.

Recently I’ve been having a lot of rich, thought-provoking conversations on Twitter with peers from all over the world. The variety of views…


Building teacher presence in online environments

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What makes good teaching? Let’s take a moment and try to remember the teachers that had a real impact on our development. What made the learning experience they facilitated so special?

Good teaching is more than a good lesson plan and a set of fancy teaching tools. Good teaching is about effective and inspiring learning. …


Training students to navigate the digital information landscape

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We often assume our students are proficient in evaluating and managing online information. And more often than not, we are wrong. That is why we need to put online media literacy and knowledge management skills at the heart of the learning process. All too often these topics are taken for granted and seldom discussed. As we put a lot of effort into designing and teaching our courses, we expect students to already have these skills or to simply catch them “on the go”. Now with most of the teaching and learning happening online, this topic is more important than ever.

Knowledge management: what and why?


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Teaching with technology has been brought into the spotlight by the Covid-19 pandemic. But alongside the challenges of having to navigate a territory that was new for many, the shift to teaching online has prompted us to rethink the way we teach and to put more effort into designing a worthwhile learning experience for our students. Let’s take a moment to think about technology as an enabler, rather than an obstacle:

  • Technology connects: it enables inter-university projects, it helps build bridges between academia and the labour market, it provides a dynamic and innovative learning space where students can integrate different…


Using storyboarding to design engaging online learning

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What story do we want to tell our students? How often have you asked yourself this question in the past months? Right now it’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by all the tools available and even helpful pedagogical advice can fall on deaf ears if we dont take the time to reconnect with our teaching at a deeper level.

Are you tempted by the idea of breaking away from Zoom and designing asynchronous learning activities for your courses next semester? Now it’s the time to get to the drawing board. It’s all about story, structure, sequence and schedule. Add…


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2020 has been a roller coaster. Plans cancelled, routines turned upside-down, our ability to adapt put to the test over and over again. We are spending our days in an endless series of zoom sessions, eyes glued to the screen for (too) many hours a day. It’s easy to see why many of us would be tempted to see reflection as a luxury right now. After all, it requires time and focus. Two things we are painfully lacking currently.

But reflection, I would argue, is exactly what we need the most right now. For teachers, the sudden switch to teaching…


A crowdsourced collection of ideas

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This reflection I posted last week on Twitter seems to have resonated with many of you. I was so happy to see so many replies with great suggestions, resources and comments, from various disciplines and corners of the world. I did not want these ideas to be lost on Twitter so I thought of collecting them here (the links to the actual tweets are under the Twitter IDs). Hopefully they will inspire us to think of online learning from a broader perspective.

Jennifer M. Miller


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Time is a crucial element in planning teaching and learning. So why are we so bad at estimating it? This blog post started with a Twitter thread and the thoughtful discussion around it conviced me there is probably more to this topic than can be expressed on Twitter. I am not claiming to provide a silver bullet here, but I think it’s useful to point out a few important aspects to bear in mind, especially when designing for the online environment.

Teaching and learning have a different temporal dimension online. As the time units that guide our face-to-face course planning…


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The past six months have challenged many existing assumptions and routines regarding how we teach, how students learn, the role of educators and the learning spaces we are using. It is too early to tell if this disruption will have a long-lasting impact and will result in transformation at institutional level. But a lot of effort has been put into making sure the move to online teaching goes as smoothly as possible, first in the emergency phase and then in a more consistent manner throughout the summer, in preparation for a new academic year full of uncertainties.

Now is a…


Ideas for designing effective engagement in online spaces

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Workshops are meant to be an active, social, hands-on aproach to learning. It’s all about exchanging ideas, building something together or trying out new tools and methods. As our lives moved online, so did workshops. But have we found effective ways to run online workshops?

Because the online workshop is a new experience for many of us, both as organisers and as participants, we should resist the temptation to transpose face-to-face workshops one to one to the virtual space. Instead, let’s take time to rethink the objectives, timeframe and activities, as well as the communication channels we use. …

Alexandra Mihai

Learning designer @UCLDigiEd; PhD in education; passionate about creating new learning spaces in Higher Education. http://educationalist.substack.com

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