Just as online learning is different for students, online teaching is different for instructors. This spring, I will be offering a series of sessions on the topic of preparing to teach online. The first session is – Is Online Teaching for You? In this session, we will talk about how online teaching is different from teaching in a physical classroom. What is the role and responsibilities of the instructor? What is the role and responsibilities of the students? If you already know you will be teaching online soon, or are new to teaching online this semester, consider attending the other sessions in the series:

  • Designing an Online Course using Best Practices
  • Learner Engagement
  • Testing, Grading, and Feedback

The content of these sessions is based on Quality Matters (QM) standards. UTC adopted QM in the summer of 2015 and it is the goal of the institution that every online and hybrid course be aligned with these evidence-based standards. There are 42 QM standards in 8 general categories. One of the central tenets of QM is alignment. This means that the content, activities, and assessment in a course are aligned with module/unit outcomes which are in turn aligned with course student learning outcomes. In the Designing an Online Course session, we will delve into the alignment standards in more detail. Another important aspect of QM is that learners are engaged! Learners are engaged with the content, the instructor, and each other. An online course cannot be passive and meet course outcomes; there must be interactivity. An example of learner engagement is the use of course tools such as discussion forums and wikis to promote student-to-student interaction to achieve a learning goal. The learner engagement session will provide information about how to set up these active learning activities. The last session in the series is about designing tests, grading efficiently online, and the use of feedback to interact with students and improve their learning. Critical to the success of an online course is designing assessments that require critical thinking. Yes, multiple-choice tests are fine, but should be supplemented with additional assessments that require higher order thinking. I hope you will join me this semester as we explore these aspects of online course design.

To register, visit our webpage and look for the Preparing to Teach Online series.

Dawn M. Ford

Dawn is the Executive Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *