Almost every educational institution in Australia has either rapidly moved the majority of its teaching online or is in the process of doing so - in many cases without experience in digital learning or robust strategies in place.
For schools, training providers and other educators struggling with the sudden transition, Deakin University is making its short course on digital learning free for the next six months.
The news comes as a number of software companies and IT services providers like Adobe and the Byron Bay-based School Stream have offered education providers and students free access to their services for a limited time during the coronavirus lockdowns to help out with the rapid transition and hopefully land more paying customers when things return to normal.
However, many education providers face greater hurdles in delivering effective lessons to students than just signing up for free trials of software and learning how to frame a video lecture without capturing the mess of one’s home office.
The two-week ‘Transforming Digital Learning’ course forms part of the university’s Digital Learning Leadership degree available through the FutureLearn online platform.
It examines a range of practical strategies to help organisations in their transitioning to digital learning.
The course will cover a variety of digital learning delivery methods, including mobile and social learning methods.
"We also look at the relatively new concept of 'service design' as part of our design practices, which allows practitioners to create holistic online learning experiences while keeping learners first and foremost in mind," Deakin’s deputy vice-chancellor of education, Professor Liz Johnson, said.
"Students in this course will be able to draw on and expand their current knowledge and practice at a time when we’re seeing a sharp rise in the importance of effective digital learning and communication."
While the course is aimed at educators, FutureLearn said it may also interest online learners to better understand and engage with digital learning pedagogy.