Associate Professor Petrea Redmond of the University of Southern Queensland, a member of the Australian Association of Research in Education, is an expert on online learning in higher education. She says that, since COVID-19 has forced a mass move to online learning, there has been much talk of technology. But she says that we also need to look at the teaching methods used.

“Transitioning from face-to-face teaching to online teaching provides challenges and opportunities for innovation alongside a range of challenges.”

“Educators need to consider what they might do to enhance students’ engagement in their learning. Research shows that online presence and student engagement are the most critical factors contributing to student retention.”

“Yet engagement can be a slippery idea: it’s not always clear what people mean by it. Research my colleagues and I published highlights five keys to online engagement: social engagement, cognitive engagement, behaviour engagement, collaborative engagement, and emotional engagement.”

“Educators need a clear framework for pursuing these, with specific indicators for how they can be achieved, such as like building community, developing student networks, and managing expectations.”

More information is available from Associate Professor Redmond’s open access article:
Redmond, P., Heffernan, A., Abawi, L., Brown, A., & Henderson, R. (2018). An online engagement framework for higher education. Online Learning, 22(1), 183-204.

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