Adapting to Change: A Reflective History of Online Graduate Certificate and Its Implications for Teaching Geography
Those teaching in higher education are increasingly under pressure to develop skills in online technologies to facilitate learning and ultimately improve graduate outcomes. In so doing, multiple trials are occurring internationally to develop online, hybrid, and blended learning programs. Ensuring that curricula are designed to be responsive to student needs is essential, as this will encourage the long-term sustainability of student learning. The planet is also facing an environmental crisis of unprecedented proportions, and the development of appropriate curricula is an ongoing task for those in disciplines like geography, environmental science, and other disciplines. Graduates are needed who will be able to respond to the more recent and unprecedented environmental crises. This chapter provides a reflective history of the development of an online Graduate Certificate in Climate Change Adaptation, at the University of Adelaide in between 2010 and 2017, and its implications for teaching geography and other related disciplines in Australia. The paper contends that there is a major place for online curricula and methods of teaching and learning but that it must be accompanied by institutional support, recognition of workload implications, and investment in skills development and be cognizant of wider political and social factors.
We would like to acknowledge the Department of Climate Change for the initial funding to develop the curricula; staff at the Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania; the DVC Teaching Professor Quester, University of Adelaide (UoA); and staff within the Discipline of Geography, Environment, and Population (UoA) for their ongoing support of this initiative and the opportunity to deliver it. We would also like to thank all the students who have completed units in the Graduate Certificate in Climate Change Adaptation.
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