Engaging Learners Online

Dr. Roger Austin

Professor in the School of Education, Ulster University

Ulster University is a multi-campus public university, the largest in Northern Ireland.

Dr Roger Austin is a Professor in the School of Education, Ulster University. He has been an eminent figure in education for over 40 years with his research focus in recent times on ICT in education. As the impact of Covid- 19 has meant that all schools in Northern Ireland are using or exploring online learning, Dr Austin’s experience and research are now of particular value.

In this short clip Dr Austin tells us how to focus on social interaction with pupils as the key to effective online learning.

Key learning

  • Focus on social interaction with pupils

  • Use all the interactive tools you can in real-time links

  • Depending on the age of the pupils, these could include….

          • maximum use of online chat functions in Collaborate Ultra or other platforms

          • music at the start and at the end

          • Online team quizzes

          • Polls

          • Interactive whiteboard (pupils like the fact this is anonymous!)

          • Flipped classroom where pupils are sent resources prior to the lesson and then work in teams to create something with the information during the class

Further resources

  • Hunter.W and Austin.R, (2020), Online and Blended Learning for Global Citizenship; New Technologies and Opportunities for Intercultural Education, Routledge, New York and London

  • Austin, R & Turner, R. (2020), ‘The role of blended learning for community cohesion; Lessons from Northern Ireland’. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 29(4). https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2020.1756906

  • Austin.R,(2019) ‘Blended Contact for Community Cohesion in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’, in Shonfeld.M & Gibson.D, eds Collaborative Learning in a Global World