Developing teaching practice


Higher education teaching abruptly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic to remote, on-line learning and teaching. The use of on-line communication software to teach became the norm and remains at many institutions. This software contains features, such as the chat, that offer teaching and learning advantages; however, potential benefits can be challenging to realise for academics used to traditional modes of lecture delivery. In most cases a solo-taught lecture designed for a physical room does not transition well to the on-line space. Co-teaching, which involves two or more academics teaching the same class, is a pedagogy that can improve engagement and satisfaction for students and academics alike. However, how co-teaching can transition to the on-line space and take full benefit of the communication software features is not well known. We recognised that some aspects of sports announcing (commentating) align with desirable qualities of co-teaching on-line. In this paper we use these features to develop a practical framework for co-teaching in the on-line space and evaluate the model in a second-year university science subject. Using data from student surveys, we found that the co-teaching model helped integrate the chat functionality into the main lecture and led to improved engagement and enjoyment of on-line classes. The model also assisted students in identifying key learning outcomes. Using the framework as a practical guide for how to incorporate co-teaching into on-line classes helps realise the benefits of contemporary communication software.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Features available in on-line communication software, such as the chat, offer rich teaching and learning opportunities.
  2. Transitioning solo-taught lectures designed for a physical space directly on-line does not often lead to effective student outcomes.
  3. Co-teaching, where two or more academics teach the same class, allows academics to exploit all the features present in communication software.
  4. The lack of overt physical cues in the on-line space means co-teaching practice needs to be intentionally designed and incorporated to gain most benefits.
  5. We provide a practical framework to allow academics to implement co-teaching into their classes.

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