June 12, 2020Print | PDF
Lynne Jordan couldn’t have predicted how timely the directed studies course in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Master of Education: Interdisciplinary program would be.
Jordan authored a guidebook to assist instructors transitioning Faculty of Social Work professional development workshops from in-person delivery to an online format. The guidebook was created as part of an independent study focused on online learning supervised by Julie Mueller, an associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education.
How to Transition from the Face-to-Face to the Online Classroom: An Evidence-Based Approach addresses learning theories, strategic course design, pedagogical approaches and best practices for teaching social work in an online environment. The guidebook also includes strategies, developed in collaboration with Mueller, to assist educators with developing experience-based learning opportunities online.
The guidebook is being developed at a time when online teaching support is of significant interest, with Laurier and post-secondary institutions across the country moving most fall 2020 courses to online and remote delivery due to COVID-19.
Jordan, who works as a professional development manager with the Faculty of Social Work, hopes her guidebook will support professional development instructors in transitioning the exceptional quality of their classroom teaching to an exceptional online academic experience.
‘I'm an advocate for online learning, but teaching online is a lot of work and differs from teaching in the classroom,” says Jordan, “I hope the guidebook can serve as a resource to support teaching staff in the design, delivery and sharing of their content and professional expertise, especially during this difficult time.”
While the Faculty of Social Work’s professional development instructors are the intended audience for the guidebook, Jordan says its contents can help other professionals when designing online courses.
The guidebook is being peer-reviewed by colleagues in social work and education. Jordan plans to make edits during the early summer and have a final version of the guidebook available for Faculty of Social Work professional development instructors ahead of the fall term. She is also willing to share the guidebook with other professionals transitioning to teaching remotely. Jordan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Writing the guidebook has taught me a lot about my own work within the Faculty of Social Work,” says Jordan. “I think it is going to make a positive impact on the way we approach professional development online.”
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