Erasmus+ | Develop your First Self-Paced Online CourseI am currently working as an English Teacher for International House Bratislava. Over summer 2022 I was thrilled to be able to participate in an Erasmus Plus project at Europass in Florence, Italy. Our lessons took place at the Europass Academy in the centre of Florence, in a stunning part of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities; the neighbourhood of Santa Croce provided a fantastic backdrop to a week of learning and cultural enrichment.
There were two other participants on the course; an Italian woman who taught in Germany, and a Slovak woman teaching at a High School in southern Slovakia. Initially when I arrived, I was slightly disappointed as I had hoped there might be more teachers from around the European Union with whom I could network, and I had been looking forward to learning about teaching situations in other countries. However, in the end I enjoyed the intimacy of our course. It meant we were able to bond well and get to know each other, while it also allowed our trainer to tailor the course contents directly to our preferences, abilities, needs and interests.
The course I attended was called: Develop your First Self-Paced Online Course. A self-paced course, in this context, refers to a course a learner can take at their own pace through an online platform such as Moodle. Prior to the course I was not overly familiar with Moodle. I had used it sometimes as a student, but I did not know how to use it as a teacher to create my own course.
Our course covered several areas. Firstly, we saw the basics of course design, covering some theory and looking briefly at how this translates into practice. Following this we looked at how to set up different elements of an online course. We all created our own ‘courses’ that we worked on every day. We looked in depth at how to use all different elements of the Moodle platform, including glossaries, wikis, and various types of quizzes. We saw how to add and organise various type of content using these Moodle courses that we had created. We also learned how to back up and download our courses once we had completed them, so that in future we would be able to recycle courses with new cohorts of students.
An additional element to the course programme that I found particularly useful was learning how to create and edit educational videos. Our trainer showed us different platforms and freely available software we could use for this purpose.
Overall, I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to partake in ongoing learning and professional development. I believe that as a teacher it is important to stay on top of new possibilities and developments in the field of education, while I also relish the opportunity to experience being in the role of a learner. While at the moment I do not have the opportunity to use Moodle to create online courses, we are currently just one week into the new school year and I have already used the video editing skills our trainer taught us!