The University of Wollongong's rapid and effective transition to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been lauded.
UOW was this week named winner of the Australian Financial Review 2020 Higher Education Award for Learning Experience.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Theo Farrell said winning the award was a fantastic achievement and due to an extraordinary effort by the Learning, Teaching and Curriculum (LTC) team.
"This AFR award recognises the amazing work of our Learning, Teaching and Curriculum team in designing and delivering an innovative training program that enabled UOW academic staff to make the transition to online remote delivery," Professor Farrell said.
"The speed with which this program was developed and rolled out was staggering. Over a two-week period in late March, LTC delivered 80 webinars to train over 1700 staff in online teaching. Since, online program resources have been accessed over 150,000 times by our academics.
"I'd like to recognise, in particular, team leader Dr Alyce Mason and Head of LTC Leanne Cambridge for their leadership of this effort."
The program, developed by LTC's Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Education Specialists and Academic Development Lecturers, covered the essential elements needed to ensure a quality online learning experience for UOW's students.
It provided staff with guides, videos, exemplars, and resources to assist them in preparing their subjects for remote delivery.
TEL Education Specialists manager Dr Alyce Mason said the development team designed the online modules in a way that began with the consideration of the student perspective.
The team drew on an Online Teaching Survey completed by 557 UOW staff to develop the Preparing to Teach Online program.
The program content was regularly updated in response to the changing environment and staff needs, while a showcase mechanism provided staff with an opportunity to share and highlight best practice.
Head of LTC Leanne Cambridge said she was extremely pleased with the achievements of the whole LTC team, noting that staff from multiple LTC units provided support for the training initiatives.
"What they accomplished in just a few weeks was remarkable," she said.
"As with all areas of the university, COVID-19 changed the focus of our services and it was good to see everyone coming together to meet the challenge and support one another in these unusual times."
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