Teaching an Online Course
If your online course is already developed and you are looking for ideas and recommendations to help you maximize the experience, both for you and your students, these first six Modules are the place to begin. If you are also considering revising your course to improve the teaching-learning experience, the course design Modules at the bottom of the page will help you to get started.
If this is your first time with an online course, please start with:
How are Online Classes Different?
Online Presence: What can I do to make sure my students "see" me?
Being actively involved in your online class will promote student success. While online classes provide students with more flexibility and new ways to collaborate, success in the online environment is directly related to how present and engaged the instructor is in the virtual classroom.
- Structuring the Course: How do I put it all together and explain it to my students?
A well-organized course provides a clear path for students to progress. By providing structure and clear, welcoming instructions and information students will be more comfortable and confident and will ask fewer logistical questions
Teaching in the Virtual Classroom: How is it different and what can I do to make it better?
Group work, participation, class discussions, and both your and your students' expectations all look different online. Take advantage of strategies to boost your efficiency and manage your workload while establishing an engaging, effective learning community in your online course.
Usability and Visual Design: What can I do to help my students see where to go and what to do?
Designing for usability helps everyone. If the course and course materials are usable from the start it helps maintain student motivation and also reduces the amount of time you spend re-explaining and fixing during the course.
Accessibility: How can I help my students who use assistive technology?
You can significantly improve accessibility in your course by following three relatively simple practices as you develop course materials and by keeping accessibility in mind as you think about activities and assessments.
- Multimedia: How can I make it, find it, and use it in my online class?
Video, audio, and images are important to include in an online course to provide alternative means of communication for students who may have reading difficulties or simply learn easier through visual and auditory channels. Media you create also provides an additional channel for teaching presence and reinforces that you are a human being and not just a name on a screen
How can a course design support your teaching?
Designing an Online Course: Where do I start?
You may have heard the recommendation to start with the end in mind - the desired learning outcomes for your students. While that's a very valid recommendation, there is more to the process than just having a solid starting point.
Online Assessment: How do I know my students are learning?
Assessments that are aligned with your learning outcomes provide reliable feedback about student learning and reinforce to students what needs to be mastered. A balanced assessment strategy in online courses can prevent surprise grades and the drama that often accompanies them.
Active and Interactive Learning: What can my students "do" online?
Active learning is more than clicking links and buttons. Learning activities that require students to actively do something thoughtful with the concepts in your course (individually or in pairs or groups) improves learning and knowledge retention.
Structuring Content: How can I make, find, and use online resources?
Your content provides the necessary information and tools that students need to complete activities and reach learning outcomes. While it can be easy to find and add more and more content to an online course, it's important to ensure that content actually supports your learning outcomes.