“Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility: Lessons from 15 Years of Online Teaching”: My Talk the UPEI Community Teaching Conference

Recently, the University of Prince Edward Island hosted a Teaching Community Conference–an annual event but one moved online due to COVID-19. My talk was called “Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility,” and I highlighted the core principles and simple tips I’ve discovered in teaching online for 15 years. If you happened to miss the live online talk, you can find the video here. You can see my abstract and my slide deck at the bottom of this post, and you can read my teaching philosophy here.

This was the UPEI Teaching Community Conference Live Schedule:

10:35am (ADT) – Reading with Purpose: Increasing engagement, understanding, discussion, and retention using active questioning during reading – Dr. Stacey MacKinnon – 30 min

11:10am (ADT) – Instructor as Dungeon Master: Gamifying a course with Moodle – Dr. Andrew Zinck – 30 min

11:45am (ADT) – Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility: Lessons from 15 years of online teaching – Dr. Brenton Dickieson – 30 min

1:00pm (ADT) – What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic about teaching through systemic disruptions? – Dr. Nino Antadze & Dr. Carolyn Peach Brown – 30 min

1:35pm (ADT) –Leveraging Small Class Size for Experiential Education – Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Shannon Snow, and Students – 45 min

All of these talks are recorded and free online, including the great Keynote by Bonnie and Dave, which you should watch before mine.

My Talk Abstract: “Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility: Lessons from 15 Years of Online Teaching” by Dr. Brenton Dickieson

While COVID-19 has launched many classroom teachers into the digital sphere, for some of us, isolation measures have simply provided a new context. In this conversation, I focus upon some of the ways that an online environment can be a natural extension of our classroom teaching. There are no doubt many differences, and the research of online learning experts is important, but I want to argue that the core principles of digital teaching are the same as teaching in other settings. Moreover, this new or expanding teaching space into the digital realm can help us clarify who we are as professors, and what is critical to our teaching philosophy. This session combines various discussion styles and is meant to feel like an online classroom discussion with upper-level students.

PPT Slides: Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility-UPEI 2020

Note: You can read about my online work with Regent College and Signum University, including summer courses. Maritime Christian College has been developing online courses for a couple of years, and I recorded my first class this semester. More to come.

And here is a Signum University free session, Teaching Engaging Classes Online: A Tutorial and Discussion, hosted by Dr. Corey Olsen.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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4 Responses to “Clarity, Care, Connection, and Credibility: Lessons from 15 Years of Online Teaching”: My Talk the UPEI Community Teaching Conference

  1. danaames says:

    I’m sure the seminar and your part in it were very enlightening. The small thing I have to say is: I love your owl!



    • Ha, thanks Dana! I talk about that in the session, actually. I literally made this powerpoint slideshow not by designing it but by typing “Free MS Powerpoint Template online education” in Google and taking the 11th one that came up.


  2. dtrichards says:

    Great talk, Brenton! I was quite impressed by your emphasis on “over communicating” as well as simplicity of material. As someone who’s just getting into this, I’d also like to add “over listening” as well. With a narrow channel of communication we can miss a lot of the clues about what our listener is really asking.

    I’m glad to know (and to witness through your talk) that caring can come across through distance learning. All the best and may you minister to each student through this medium!


  3. Pingback: A Quick Note on the Death of Dreams and Private Career College Corruption | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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