On this page you’ll find tips and techniques for remote teaching to give students confidence studying online.   

Influenced by the pandemic, VU transitioned from a blended approach to remote teaching. The basis of blended and remote teaching are the same. However, remote teaching makes use of new technology and forms of teaching and interaction with students.

At VU, all remote block mode classes are small (~30 students), active and engaged. In our block classes:

  • you  get to know your students in intimate, synchronous online environments via Zoom
  • you support students asynchronously through structured self-directed learning via VU Collaborate
  • a mix of both modes of learning are used over the three hours that block classes are scheduled
  • your students may come on campus for specific lab or practical activities
  • students learn hands-on and practical skills with and from each other through active inquiry and the use of simulations and virtual labs.

Communication, collaboration & engagement

Designing and delivering online classes as effectively as face-to-face classes can be challenging. Whilst it requires new ways to communicate, the goal of remote learning stays the same as the goal of face-to-face learning: to bond, to share information, to be heard and understood. Fostering a sense of community in online classes will make the learning experience more meaningful for students and help them stay connected and engaged.

Strategies that can contribute to increased student motivation and engagement:

  • Make online student engagement and participation indispensable.
  • Promote general discussion that will expand student’s thinking and can help draw out new ideas.
  • Use polls, short quizzes and breakout rooms.
  • Engage “camera shy” students by making learning more personal.
  • Create group collaboration opportunities via using shared documents.

Assessment

While designing and planning assessment tasks it is vital to promote to students the values that underpin online ethical academic learning.

Online tests can provide a quick and straightforward way to assess students' recall of information and provide feedback to students. However, it’s important to include other forms of assessment that provide students with opportunities to foster their future career skills.

Students can collaborate remotely on group tasks and present their findings online or record their findings in a video.

Inviting students to suggest ways to demonstrate their learning virtually adds a level of self-determination where students can take control of their own learning.   

Some ideas for online assessments: 

  • video creation 
  • mind mapping  
  • infographic/poster creation 
  • self-paced informal assessments  
  • reflective assessments, for example, journals, blogging or similar. 
  • reports, essays and case studies 
  • group assessments where students collaborate remotely using shared documents 
  • presentations which are facilitated in an online classroom such as Zoom. 

Academic integrity in the remote learning environment

Digital environments require a renewed approach to academic integrity. Units at VU have been designed for online and remote delivery to safeguard academic integrity, while meeting the need for authentic, accessible and aligned assessment. 

In accordance with findings from the Australian Government Contract Cheating and Assessment Design Project and resultant TEQSA* recommendations, VU has implemented a range of measures to ensure the highest level of academic integrity.

Victoria University takes a consistent approach to academic integrity by informing students and staff of the importance of presenting authentic work that is their own and acknowledging the work of others. It is important that all Victoria University students understand their responsibility, and you as their teacher can inform them by:

  • Educating - Remind your students of the importance of academic integrity. You can also include the VU Academic integrity Policy under a section on your unit delivery space
  • Protecting - Clarify the learning objectives of the course

*TESQA: Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 

Student feedback on remote learning

Block mode has supported students during remote learning with small classes that encourage interaction and connection. Results from semester 1 2020 show that students have done as well if not better during remote learning compared to face-to-face in 2019. Despite many challenges, students are achieving success and learning new skills.