Perspectives of online teaching practice and engagement for richly diverse student cohorts: Role of discussion boards
James, A and Mather, C and Douglas, T and Earwaker, L, Perspectives of online teaching practice and engagement for richly diverse student cohorts: Role of discussion boards, Teaching Matters 2021, 29 November - 1 December 2021, online (2021) [Conference Extract]
Creating opportunities for student and facilitator engagement and promotion of best practice learning and teaching through online discussion boards is a focus of our Peer Professional Learning Circle. As educators from different disciplines, our objective is to improve student learning and maximise teaching opportunities. Reflecting on our research and resource development, we value the rich diversity of student cohorts representing different national, ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Educators and students need to understand and respect other learners’ lenses, including the challenges, benefits, barriers and risks to learning. We discuss one diverse teaching platform, the international/geographically dispersed Maritime Transport and Logistics Industry: consisting of a global web of shipping, connecting all continents and the transport and logistics management of commodities. This networked industry ranges across ship and shore-based services, blue and white collar, professional, technical employees, defense personnel and civilians; and presents a delightful complexity of online opportunities. Online discussion brings together diverse educators and learners with a rich source of perspectives and experiences upon which to scaffold learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed Higher Education by ‘super-speeding’ online learning and teaching (Douglas et al., 2020), enabling a renewed, nuanced focus to adapt to change and design engaging, dynamic and fit-for-purpose discussion boards. This presentation will focus on how student diversity enriches online discussions and is pivotal to learning in the ‘new normal’ of curriculum delivery.