Online Teaching and Learning

Teacher talking to students in online meeting environment

Online Teaching and Learning

The way we teach and the way we learn has undertaken a major transformation with the increase in access to networked digital technologies.

Universities across the globe have embraced online teaching and learning providing students with flexible, anywhere, anytime learning opportunities. At SCU we have designed, developed and taught online for almost two decades across a multitude of disciplines. We have personal expertise and resources to support you as you elevate your teaching practice in the online space and consider what our online learners need and want.


Support for Teaching Online

Live Support is available during our staff Friday Free-for-all Blackboard Collaborate sessions which take place on Fridays at 12 noon (NSW time).

If you have an urgent problem, contact [email protected]

The resources below have been selected to support your transition to online teaching and facilitation:

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  • Set up a Discussion Forum to answer any FAQs, and use this to communicate with and respond to your students.
  • Let students know times when you will be online, to avoid lots of individual emails.
  • Give students times when you will be available to engage synchronously.
  • Use Announcements to alert students of alternate activities.
  • Create a short welcome video of yourself and upload to Blackboard to establish a connection.

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  • Add voiceovers to your existing PowerPoints or create a screencast (in Mediasite, Camtasia, Zoom or PowerPoint).
  • Upload well-structured lecture notes onto Blackboard. Avoid being text heavy.
  • Chunk content into mini ‘lectures’ (5–10 mins) of key concepts (ideally with activities to apply content/check understandings).
  • Deliver your lecture via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, using the Chat function to take questions from students.
    • Use the Record function for students who can’t attend so they can watch it later.
  • Readings/resources with guiding questions:
    • Use existing online resources/reading to provide content to students.
    • Guide students to the critical content by asking questions.

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  • Run online tutorials in Collaborate Ultra. Use the Chat and Audio functions to enable dialogue. Where possible, keep these live and interactive (record the session for those who cannot attend).
  • Use Online Discussion forums with explicit instructions of what you want students to do to create discussion around a topic. Ensure teachers/supporting staff are present.

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  • If appropriate, set up Groups on your unit (in Blackboard) to allow smaller groups of students to work together. When creating Groups enable the Discussion Forum, Email and Collaborate Ultra tools.
  • Use Discussion Forums in Blackboard with clear objectives and instructions. Ensure there is a teacher presence:
    • Make sure there is context around what the forum is for and how it makes connections to the learning outcomes and assessments.
    • When setting up your discussion forum, make sure you have planned and provided instructions so that students are guided on how to engage with other posts.
    • Offer meaningful responses to extend the discussion.


  • Provide additional materials and set activities for your students to complete, with opportunity for feedback.
  • Invite peer review/peer feedback from other students.
  • Set up online self-test quizzes.

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  • Remind students how to access support at relevant points/moments in their learning.
  • Provide resources/links to resources for students to support them in being able to comfortably learn and engage in an online space. Remember some may find it unfamiliar and daunting.

Suggestions for off-campus learning See more
  • There are lots of tools you can use to host online conferences and events which can also be used for intensives. These include live webinars (lectures) via tools such as Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate and use of social media tools.
  • Facilitation of large events

Suggestions for off-campus learning See more
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has collated a suite of online learning resources to assist educators who have had to rapidly transition into the online learning space due to COVID-19. Resources cover a range of topics related to online learning, from getting started and helping workforces to work online, to student experiences and assessment integrity.
  • SCU has a number of learning support services that you can draw on to support your online teaching.
  • The online module Being a Successful Online Teacher provides practical strategies and good practice guidelines on designing, organising and teaching effectively in an online course. You may like to complete the entire module or dip in and out of relevant units and topics.

The module has 5 units:

Unit 1: Introduction to online teaching

Unit 2: Building an effective learning community

Unit 3: Facilitating online learning

Unit 4: Directing and leading an online course

Unit 5: Using assessment in online teaching

Click on the link to access the content for this module. You will be redirected to a new webpage.

This new page contains a detailed menu on the left-hand side of your screen to enable you to navigate. There are activities, videos, extra readings, external websites and many other resources.

  • Don’t forget to use the Blackboard support resources for help on how to utilise features in the Blackboard learning site.

This faculty-focused playbook aims to improve course design, teaching, and learning in online environments. The playbook provides short targeted advice in three key areas:

  • Design
  • Enhance
  • Delivery

The playbook addresses online teaching and learning in both emergency and non-emergency contexts with special attention to course design, course construction, course management, course evaluation, and strategies for continuous improvement.

Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19

Live Support

Friday Free for All – Online and eLearning Support

Are you new to Blackboard and Collaborate or need a refresher? Do you need some help setting up your Blackboard site?

The Centre for Teaching and Learning and eLearning System Support staff are available online every Friday at noon (NSW time) to help.

These sessions are run in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra so everyone can join in. You do not need to register - just log in.

Follow this link to the Collaborate room: Access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Friday Free-for-all.

Please note that you will need to login to Blackboard first to access Friday Free-for-all sessions. The sessions are hosted in the Blackboard Workgroup site titled: Blackboard Support for Staff Users.

  • Login to MySCU.
  • Under 'My Information & Workgroup Sites', click on 'Blackboard Support for Staff Users'.
  • Under 'Staff Training', click on 'Friday Free-for-all: MySCU Support and Training Room'.
  • Choose the session called 'Friday Free-for-all'. This session is facilitated by staff from Centre for Teaching and Learning and Technology Services.

Contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning

We are here to support your teaching and technological aspects of teaching practice.