Sydney School of Education and Social Work events - 2012 Archive

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Threshold concepts: Professional development about online teaching

10 October 2012

Join us on October 10 for a CoCo Seminar by Dr Maria Northcote and Dr Kevin Gosselin titled “Threshold concepts: Professional development about online teaching”.

Threshold concepts are defined as “core concepts that once understood, transform perception of a given subject” (Meyer & Land, 2003) and "troublesome knowledge" (Perkins, 2006) is knowledge that challenges the learner and can cause cognitive conflict as learners compare new ideas with their prior knowledge.

As academic staff in higher education institutions develop their skills in online course design and online teaching, troublesome knowledge and various threshold concepts are encountered along their professional learning journeys. In the two stages of this study (2010 and 2012), both qualitative and quantitative data were and are being gathered in the form of reflective journals and responses to the "Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory" (Gosselin, 2009). By acknowledging, analysing and documenting the major concerns and successes of academic teaching staff in the field of online teaching, the project offers the opportunity to develop a strong set of research-informed guidelines that will inform the development of future professional learning/ staff development activities. This process will ensure that such activities are tailored to the needs of the teaching staff within the faculties of the institutions participating in the study.

This seminar will be available live online at

Event details

  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm
  • Where: Education Building (A35) Room 230
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact:

    Sadhbh Warren

    T: 935 12612

  • More info: Arrive at 10.45 am for refreshments
  • Speaker/ Performer:

    Dr Maria Northcote is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Science at Avondale College of Higher Education in NSW, Australia. She teaches curriculum studies to pre-service teachers and assists staff in their development of online teaching skills.

    Her research interests include teacher education, academic staff development, online learning and teaching and assessment in higher education.

    Maria publishes in the areas of threshold concepts, mathematics education, online teaching and higher education assessment. Contact:

    Dr Kevin P. Gosselin is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at The University of Texas at Tyler in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Tyler, Texas, USA. In 2009, he completed his Phd in Educational Psychology at Texas Tech University. Recent research interests involve online teaching and design, faculty development, and psychometrics. Kevin publishes in the areas of teacher identity, online teaching and mentor attitudes. Contact:

Threshold concepts: Professional development about online teaching

Where Education Building (A35) Room 230 When

10 October 2012

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