Oxford UniversityInterest in online learning has never been greater, and the University of Oxford has just launched a new continuing professional development (CPD) course to help teachers with online tutoring.

"Effective Online Tutoring" is a new seven-week online CPD course from the University of Oxford's CPD Centre that will run over the summer.

The course will be delivered by the centre's award-winning Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL} unit is aimed at "teachers delivering education online, academics looking to develop new skills for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate-level courses online and organisations involved in continuing professional development who wish to improve the effectiveness of their distance learning courses". It's also relevant for anyone wanting to create online collaborative learning spaces and those who want to deliver training online.

The profile of online learning is rising as funding cutbacks bite at a time of improved understanding of the pedagogy required to take advantage of technology advances. This is already happening in higher education (see the BBC's "Going to Harvard from your own bedroom") and the effects are likely to be felt in schools too.

Learning by doing is a central tenet of "Effective Online Tutoring" and the whole experience is online, so there is no need to attend the university. The course gives a practical introduction to the "social, administrative and pedagogical techniques of teaching online" and it's focused on "teaching, rather than on designing or developing online courses". This includes exploring the role of online tutor through "selected reading, group discussions, role-playing, case studies and other activities".

To find out whether "Effective Online Tutoring" is relevant for your school you can download Unit 2 (Introduction to Teaching and Learning Online) as a free trial. You just register at the site for the free download.

More information

"Effective Online Tutoring" runs from June 6 to July 2011 and costs £675
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The University of Oxford CPD Centre's Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) unit won the 2010 Learning Technologist of the Year team award.