ACAP moved to an online campus model on Monday 23rd March to safeguard the health and wellbeing of students and staff.
During this transition, ACAP introduced a Success Board where teaching staff celebrate achievements by sharing their work amongst colleagues as a write-up, recording or webinar. The Success Board not only celebrates success, but also allows colleagues to learn from each other and share best practices that will benefit the ACAP community.
Dr Vikki Knott and Dr Christine Chinchen discussed their transition to online delivery; read about their experiences adapting to online teaching below.
Getting Up Close and Comfy with Online Delivery
Dr Vikki Knott, Associate Professor, Discipline Lead, Psychology from ACAP’s Brisbane campus, writes about adapting to online teaching.
I was quite apprehensive about teaching statistics using SPSS online. However, I found that I actually preferred teaching this content online. The ability to switch screens and share with students the steps required to complete analyses using the SPSS program was facilitated so much more easily in an online format compared with the face-to-face modality. Students reported that they also experienced benefits of learning statistics via an online tutorial. They especially appreciated the recording of the tutorial so that could return to the tutorial to re-visit the steps required to conduct the analyses.
By remaining open minded and by being willing to challenge our preconceived ideas, we can develop and grow our skills in many areas of life, including in the area of online teaching.
- There are many benefits to online teaching and learning.
- Staff and students at ACAP are resilient and flexible.
- The ability to continually reflect on our teaching approaches and to consider impacts on learner engagement and outcomes is an important part of our academic tool kit.
Affect and learning: Inseparable partners!
Dr Christine Chinchen, Academic Teacher, Discipline of Counselling from ACAP’s Sydney campus writes about the role of emotions in learning.
I have always been fascinated with the role of emotions in learning, called the affective domain of education. Since being introduced to Bloom’s taxonomy back in the 1980s, I have struggled to understand why so much attention has been placed on the cognitive learning realm, omitting the importance of affect.
Well perhaps with our current situation and the movement to online learning amidst this health crisis, we now have a chance to address more fully the affective needs of learners. We can calm people in a time of crisis by providing solid information and focus for their anxiety, allow their feelings to be named and heard, and apply some of the basic principles of humanistic learning which are now supported by neuroscience.
These are several of the things I have applied in recent weeks:
- A group process addressing the move to online – identifying the feelings related to a shift from intimate face-to-face classes to the online environment; this involved the concerns and freedoms associated with the move
- Acknowledging fears and concerns amid the changed society in which we reside – addressing this head on when appropriate comments are made by the learners by acknowledging the anxiety and fear that people may be experiencing and how we can use our helping skills to support ourselves and others
- Providing leadership via forum postings, unit announcements, and messaging to learners, which comes from a powerful place focused on what I can control, attending to but not obsessing about what I cannot control, and having the wisdom to know the difference!
Learner feedback has been very positive.
“I felt heard and validated in my concerns.”
“Suddenly I could relax because I knew what to focus on.”
“I love the intimacy of our group and how we can work together.”
“Not being heard was a problem; then we were heard and supported.”
I wish each of you the best in navigating the times we find ourselves in. The ACAP L&T forums are an excellent way to keep our community in tact so I look forward to more communication on those forums. And at some time in the future, meeting up with you face-to-face to have a coffee together!
Overcoming writers block
As part of the Success Board initiative, Rachael Haynes, ACAP Lecturer in Psychological Sciences, has created a video where she discusses an initiative to overcome writers block.
Shut Up and Write is a daily writing group on Zoom for students that are struggling to write assignments or are feeling stuck and need motivation. In her video, Rachael gives a live demonstration of the group and discusses:
- The history of Shut Up and Write groups
- How they work
- Who they are available for
For further information on ‘Success Board’ project, please contact Dr Michaela Munoz, ACAP Learning and Teaching Manager, at Michaela.Munoz@acap.edu.au.
For further information or assistance setting up your own writing group, please contact Rachael via Rachael.Haynes@acap.edu.au