Who is Teach First?
Teach First is a charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders who are determined to make a difference where it is needed most. With the mission of “building a fair education for all,” Teach First aims to “unlock the potential in all children, not just some.”
What Are the Goals of the Course?
With Teach First and Construct’s missions in mind, “Design for Online: It’s All in the Blend” was created to be an engaging course that will give teachers and educators the tools to build amazing courses tailored to online or blended learning environments and experiences. Ultimately, the course will help curriculum designers with tackling the challenge of developing online programs for the digital age by helping them to:
Describe what blended learning is and what online learning is and be able to outline the difference between the terms.
Recognize the key benefits and challenges of a blended approach to learning design and delivery.
Assess the purpose and value add of a blended approach to learning design.
What Makes this Course Unique?
This course will show you exactly how to design for online because it's very scenario based. It shows you, engages you, and gives you the opportunity to create the resources you will actually need to design an online course. Not only does the course provide the basics of creating engaging online courses and programs, but it also includes parameters for designing for special needs learners by addressing the importance of accessibility.
By prompting you to apply the skills that you learn in the course, this program really stands out from other resources that simply provide you with information about best practices. We recognize that engagement is key to understanding, which is why we use narratives and metaphors to teach you the foundations. We don’t just tell you, we show you. In this particular course we utilize the metaphor of building a course being similar to building a house; you first need the foundation which will then allow you to build on each consecutive piece in order to create something stable and effective, and the same is true for learning.
What Have We Accomplished with this Course?
This course was originally created for Teach First to train teachers and educators internally to be able to support the schools that they work with. Once the course was published, it gained so much traction that it was later offered as a resource to the entire company as it became recognized as not only a great resource for designers, but also for other professionals in the world of education. Since the course was opened up, all people that we collaborate with at Teach First take this course themselves to get onboarded and introduced to online learning before we work together.
Not only has this course allowed us to be able to design greater online learning when working in collaboration with Teach First, but it has also allowed us to recognize the value of the course and as a result open it up as a free resource to you and other educators during this time.
Real Course Feedback from Curriculum Designers:
I’ve enjoyed the whole course and felt that it followed a very logical path. I found the zoom workshops most useful, as they gave me the space and opportunity to discuss my view, cement my understanding and, most crucially, hear from my colleagues who know much more than I do about online learning.
I’m totally new to this, so I found the discussions really interesting and super insightful. There were some discussions that I expected to go a certain way but they went in a totally different direction, so it really gave me a lot of new knowledge and perspectives to consider. Thank you! I also think the tech of Zoom is pretty awesome – it all went completely smoothly as we transitioned into, and out of, break out rooms.
Love it! making everyone realise mistakes they have been making and what areas need work. Really eye-opening and informative. Learned a lot.
Why Are We Releasing the Course Right Now?
Together with Teach First, we’ve recognized that teachers across the world are scrambling right now to move their instruction online. With the outbreak of COVID-19, we decided to partner together to bring teachers and educators this free resource that will help you move your learning programs online quickly while also keeping the critical principles of learning design at the forefront.
Not only do we want to do our part in helping teachers through the pandemic and the challenges of transitioning to online learning, but we also want to acknowledge the world we are all living in right now. We hope that this course will not only aid teachers and educators with getting through the “right now” of online learning, but will also help them to prepare for the emerging digital world.