Georgina has been teaching with TAFE for nearly 10 years, starting as a part-time teacher while she had her family and then moving to full-time when her children were in school. Originally trained as a microbiologist, Georgina found she was more interested in technology than laboratories and was given the opportunity to work in the IT department of a large hospital. After completing an IT course, she moved into teaching.
It ranges from developing learning and assessment material to supporting distance students via phone, email and the Internet and to marking assignments and assessment tasks. As an online teacher, we don’t have face-to-face contact with students so we have to give a lot more feedback and support.
There are a lot of opportunities in the area of e-learning, which is growing all the time. Many corporations and large companies, such as law firms, are creating in-house training centres and using e-learning as part of this. There are also opportunities with educational publishing houses that need experienced e-teachers to make online learning more productive and interactive, it’s much more than just using CDs in the computer nowadays.
I work within a section, the IT unit, and all the teachers in this unit work together. We provide assistance and support to students and share information and advice among all the teachers. We also have speciality teachers who assist students with special needs, such as blind students, and we work with them to provide learning material and support in a different format. We might also interact with other departments, such as the marketing team, when they’re putting together pamphlets and course information.
I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with helping students. It’s rewarding when you’re able to help them, help themselves to improve.
It’s difficult when there are obstacles to creating new, innovative approaches to teaching and supporting students.
I’m working on the OTEN website development project. We are re-designing the website and creating new systems to cater for online enrolments, assessments and interactive options, such as forums, conferences, as well as blogs and wikis. We’re making it a complete tool for teachers to load course information and resources onto to help students.