Designing an online course is a unique opportunity to widen the doors of your classroom to new voices from across the internet and even around the world. While the possibilities may seem limitless, the one area that has not changed are the critical learning goals you have set for your students. As these goals may be accomplished in new ways, your guidance and presence as a teacher is as important as ever. Teaching + Learning is here to share evidence-informed practices and tip-sheets to help you along your way.
A good place to start is by putting yourself in the shoes of your learners. Students benefit most from online learning experiences that are well-structured, flexible and engaging. Prepare for your students to interact with different types of learning materials at times that fit their schedules. If you include live teaching sessions, build in opportunities for participation and feedback so students can actively build knowledge together.
- Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard To Teach?
- How Online Learners Learn (Western University’s Pathway)
- 12 Key Ideas: An Introduction to Teaching Online (Cormier & O’Neil, 2020)
- How to be a better online teacher (Darby, 2019)
- An Urgency of Teachers (Morris and Stommel)
- Considering High and Low Bandwidth Options (Stanford, 2020)
- Encouraging Academic Integrity Online (University of Waterloo)
- Learning to Teach Online (LinkedIn Learning – use Humber Credentials)
Create a general “roadmap” for your course that incorporates a weekly rhythm and a simple navigational structure. Consider how your students’ learning experiences can be broken down into a series of modules, each with its own topic, purpose, learning objective(s), interactive activities, and knowledge checks. Students should be able to navigate through each module sequentially in order to build their skills and knowledge and meet learning goals and deadlines for course tasks.
- How to create accessible material for online use.
- A Comprehensive Approach of Online Course Design (Western University)
- ACUE’s Online Teaching Toolkit (Association of College and University Educators)
- ACUE’s Inclusive Online Teaching Practices (Association of College and University Educators)
- UBC’s Open Course: Online Course Design (University of British Columbia)
- Humber’s Accommodation Guide for the Online Environment
- Supporting Remote Teaching & Learning during COVID-19 (eCampus Ontario)
Each learning module should guide students through a cohesive educational experience with a beginning, middle, and end. Consider starting by activating learners’ prior beliefs with a quote, question, story or thought experiment. Then, guide them through acquiring new knowledge by presenting material in a variety of formats. Next, let students apply what they learned in practice sets, case studies, debates, or another hands-on method. Last, use assessment as a way to help you and the students calibrate how their knowledge is progressing.
- Explore Humber’s Video Resources
- Recording Effective Microlectures
- Custom Banners for Online Courses
- Custom Icon Sets
- eCampus Ontario Open Library (Open Educational Resources)
- The Learning Portal (College Libraries Ontario) (Open Educational Resources)
- Educause Open Educational Resources Collection (Open Educational Resources)
- OER Commons (Open Educational Resources)
- Algonquin College OER (Open Educational Resources)
- Open Textbook Directory (BC Campus)
- TED.com - Video repository of short talks
- TED-Ed - Educational video collection and video-based lessons
The learning in an online class happens at the intersection of three important relationships: The teacher and the learner, the learner and the material, and the learners and their peers. Create a space for these three relationships to thrive, and you’re well on your way to excellent online facilitation.
- Don’t teach. Facilitate.” (Skidmore, 2020).
- Fostering Student Engagement Online (Skidmore, 2020).
- Engaging Learners in Online Environments Using UDL (eLearn Magazine, 2019)
- Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies (OER, Pacansky-Brock, 2012)
- Teaching Effectively with Zoom (Dan Levy, on The Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast, Oct. 2020)
- Facilitation of Learning and Teaching Online (OER, from the University of Alberta)
- McGill University’s E-Learning Kit: Building Community