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Distance education workshops

New-to-distance workshop

This two hour workshop is for people who have not taught a distance course previously or have not had to develop one. The New-to-distance workshop introduces you to how distance learning happens at Otago. It explores five areas of critical importance to effective distance courses and provides a brief and easy introduction to them. The areas are

  1. Learning goals and content: Preparing good instructional materials, ‘why’ and ‘how’ are as important as ‘what’
  2. Interactions: Facilitating interactions and engaging students, especially online, but with a variety of technologies too
  3. Assessment and evaluation: What’s special about assessment in distance education? And how do you manage it?
  4. Instructional media, tools and technologies: It’s so hard to choose! What should I use, and how should I use it?
  5. Learner and course services and support: …but they are independent learners, surely they don’t need support! Well, do they? And if so, how do we best provide it?

This workshop will provide opportunities for you to

  • Consider and discuss a number of issues to be aware of as you develop and then teach a distance course
  • Develop foundational knowledge of what works, in each of the five areas, to ensure effective distance learning occurs
  • Note a number of sources for ideas and resources about distance course development and teaching

The New-to-Distance workshop is available upon request to be run face-to-face or by Zoom. Contact

DISTAID programme

Those of you involved with distance teaching may be interested in the DISTAID programme: an opportunity for you to engage in an extended professional development experience across 12 months.

DISTAID works by supporting your investigation of

Distance education through your
Investigation of (your understanding of)
Services and support,
Tools and technologies,
Assessment and evaluation,
Interactions, and

Programme components

Topics are organised around five core areas that are critical to distance education. The addition of an introductory workshop completes the set of 6 workshops making up the DISTAID programme:

  1. Introduction to DISTAID: Making a change in distance teaching
  2. Interactions: Engaging your students and interacting at a distance
  3. Learning goals and content: Getting the course design right
  4. Assessment :Assessing student work to support learning and teaching at a distance
  5. Tools and technologies: Choosing and using tools and technologies in distance education
  6. Services and support: Supporting distance students

The workshops are available upon request. They can be tailored to suit your department or programme. They can be run face-to-face or by Zoom. Contact

Supervising postgraduate research students at a distance

This workshop will help you decide on the best ways to use interaction possibilities to facilitate your supervision of your distance research students. We’ll discuss reasons for using real-time and asynchronous technologies; review techniques to use to make interaction with your students work and consider ways of finding out if the approaches you adopt are working.

By the end of this workshop, you will have had an opportunity to

  • Discuss your own supervision contexts, and your and your distance research students’ needs for establishing and maintaining supervisory interactions
  • Engage with some strategies for interaction with your distance research students
  • Reflect on how the various interaction strategies may work in your distance supervision context

For further information about the distance education workshops contact Sarah Stein.