by Distance Learning

Professional development for distance staff

Read on to find out what's on offer in the 2024 Distance Learning Professional Development Programme through the Distance Learning Office

Chat with Director, Distance Learning, Sarah Stein | Anytime

You can request a one-to-one meeting with Sarah at any time.

Our previous New-to-Distance workshop has also been replaced with a one-to-one session with Sarah. If you request a "New to Distance Teaching 1:1", Sarah will introduce you to how distance learning happens at Otago. She can help you to explore five areas of critical importance to effective distance courses and provide a brief and easy introduction to them.

This session 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; and
  • note a number of sources for ideas and resources about distance course development and teaching

Contact Sarah anytime:

Distance Learning Forums | Quarterly

These semi-formal Zoom sessions - one dealing with administrative matters and one dealing with teaching matters - provide a time to have a focussed discussion about topics specific and relevant to Distance staff. Attending them will help you to develop up-to-date knowledge/skills about the topic discussed, as well as helping you to meet other Distance staff.

Held quarterly (March, May, August and November) via Zoom. Calendar invites to these will be sent to all staff on our contacts list as they come up.

Forums will also be advertised in the Staff newsletter.

See this article in this Information and Support handbook for more information about the 2024 Distance Learning Forums. 

Supervising Postgraduate Research Students from, or at, a Distance | Workshop (run twice, May and August)

This workshop, run through the HEDC's Doctoral Supervision Programme, will help you to make decisions about the best ways to use interaction possibilities to facilitate the supervision of your research students when you, your co-supervisors and/or your students are at a distance. We will discuss reasons for using real-time and asynchronous technologies; review techniques to make interactions 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;
  • consider student and supervisor needs for establishing and maintaining supervisory interactions;
  • engage with some strategies for interacting at a distance with your co-supervisors and your research students; and
  • reflect on how the various interaction strategies may work in your distance supervision context.

The workshop will be run twice in 2024: [links currently don't have dates -Ruth]

In person (Register here)
Via Zoom (Register here

Carpe Diem Kia tū, kia maia | a Two-Day Workshop

Are you teaching by Distance Learning and/or in Summer School, or thinking about 'beefing up' the blended elements within your paper? Have you been thinking about redesigning your papers and/or programme?

This workshop is for those of you teaching in papers and/or programmes where the consensus amongst teaching staff is that a pedagogical redesign is due. The catchphrase for our workshop is “Kia tū, kia maia”. Let your redesigned paper make a strong and confident statement about what and how you teach!

This practical two-day workshop aims to provide you with an opportunity to redesign your papers in order to gain maximum teaching and learning benefit from the core digital environment that the University provides for staff and students. The workshop will focus strongly on rethinking how teaching and learning occur in a primarily digital environment in your programme and its constituent papers. It will involve staff from Distance Learning, the Library, ITS, HEDC, Moodle eLearning, and the College of Education .

We expect to hold Carpe Diem in early-mid October, 2023. Watch out for advertising that should commence mid-year.

DISTAID Sessions

Formerly offered as a series of Zoom and in-person workshops, the DISTAID series is now offered as a series of pre-recorded Zoom sessions for you to work through at your own pace. 

The DISTAID programme supports your professional development as a:

  • Distance Educator through your
  • Investigation of how
  • Services and support,
  • Tools and technologies,
  • Assessment and evaluation,
  • Interactions, and
  • Design work within distance courses and papers.

DISTAID looks at five areas of distance education courses that are critical for success:

  1. Course design for distance papers.
  2. Engaging your students and interacting at a distance.
  3. Choosing and using tools and technologies in distance education.
  4. Supporting learning and teaching through assessment of distance student work.
  5. Get them and keep them! – supporting distance students (and you).

If you would like to arrange a tailored form of the DISTAID programme for colleagues in your department of programme, please contact Sarah Stein. Zoom and/or in-person are both possible!