The following best practices were suggested by members of the CTE Online Teaching and Learning Teaching Circle.
Create a course announcement, direct email, or video message that is welcoming and tells students where things are, how to get started, and where/how to ask a question.
Begin with an exercise inviting students to introduce themselves in the discussion forum.
Reflect on how your online course syllabus should differ from an in-person course. It should include a schedule with assignments and due dates, directions on how to get help, and details about any other policies your students need to know about.
Consider giving a syllabus quiz to encourage students to read it.
Make changes to the course navigation so that it clearly points students to the areas that are most important for your course.
Provide frequent feedback (video or text), clear expectations, and regular updates to help students keep current with the course.
Design assessments that encourage engagement, allow for learner choice, and model learner self-expectations for good practice.
Provide lessons that can capture and hold attention, keeping distractions or extraneous information to a minimum.
Use small-stakes assignments and feedback to build motivation.
Darby, F. (n.d.). How to be a better online teacher: Advice guide. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from How to Be a Better Online Teacher
Darby, F. (2019). Small teaching online: Applying learning science in online classes. Jossey-Bass.
Ko, S. & Rossen, S. (2017). Teaching online: A practical guide (4th edition). Routledge.
Miller, M. (2014). Minds online: Teaching effectively with technology. Harvard University Press.
Simonson, M., Zvacek, S., & Smaldino, S. (2019). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th edition). Information Age Publishing.
Vai, M. & Sosulski, K. (2015). Essentials of online course design: A standards-based guide (2nd edition). Routledge.
Guide to Offering Your Course Content OnlineIUP’s Instructional Design Services: Access to teaching and learning tools to provide instruction to your students through alternative delivery methods.
A collection of resources provided by IUP’s Office of Extended Studies. Includes links to publications, technology how-to's, best practices, and more.
Library Instruction for Online CoursesProvides information on the methods for library instruction and resources in online and distance courses.
Quality Matters Standards
Online Learning Consortium Course Design Scorecard
Quality Online Course Initiative
Peer Evaluation of Online Courses
IUP English Department
IUP Eberly College of Business
Online Pedagogy Workshop by Barbara Frey
Course Design and Development Tutorial Self-paced, online tutorial from CUNY School of Professional Studies, Office of Faculty Development and
IUP Instructional Design Services Professional Development
Offers various options for learning including on-demand videos, teaching online certification course, and facilitator led workshops.
Dr. Mary Stewart was awarded the CTE Faculty Recognition Award for Instructional Technology in 2019 for her innovative and student-centered strategies to promote student engagement in her fully online research writing course. As Stewart writes in her
application, she designed a combination of asynchronous and synchronous activities to build a community learning environment that reinforces the social nature of writing and of learning. The documents provided below are excerpts of her award application.
Abstract and Three-Page Rationale
Online ENGL 202 Course Syllabus
Screenshots from the Online D2L Course and Video Chats