Teachers learn online too
When students moved to an online world, teachers followed suit, with professional training programs dropping face-to-face workshops in favour of virtual learning.
The University of Newcastle Quality Teaching Rounds (QTR) program, which is endorsed by the NSW Department of Education, is an evidence-based professional development course that brings teachers together in small and highly focused ‘professional learning communities’.
Developed by Professor Jenny Gore with PhD student and colleague Julie Bowe, the highly interactive program sees participants teach a lesson while observed by other educators who then code the lesson using the QTR model and materials to guide observation, feedback and discussion.
In partnership with the NSW Department of Education, the university’s Teachers and Teaching Priority Research Centre has been training teachers since 2019. The onset of COVID-19 called for a rapid move to online learning that could still engage participants through a mix of presentations, video and discussion.
The program worked well in an online world, with engagement and collaboration easily translating to the new learning environment. The pandemic delivered opportunity for expansion of the program, with teachers in schools across NSW now supported, regardless of how remote their location.
Online workshops will continue in Term 3 and 4, alongside a limited number of face-to-face workshops where social distancing requirements can be met. Schools are offered two free places for training in QTR, which can be utilised in one of the three available formats: face-to-face, digital and online. A full description of each mode, along with upcoming event timetables is available here.
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