Online Learning & Teaching

Online Learning and Teaching
Online Learning & Teaching
Well-designed online courses consistently provide students with a great deal of flexibility, interaction, collaboration, and engagement.

How Can I Do This?

Building an effective online course requires paying careful attention to both the materials of your course and how you will teach it.  Give yourself plenty of time to identify the “big picture” ideas and knowledge that you expect students to learn and translate them into the online environment.  As you assemble your ideas into a course structure, consider the technology requirements that you expect students to meet and how that impacts the ‘pacing’ of the course.

Broaden the ways you check student learning.

The role of assessment in an online course can make your students feel more connected to the material and give you more insight into their learning. Online tools can open up new possibilities for different (perhaps even more efficient and effective) ways to engage and assess your students as they journey through the course.

Utilize different forms of content and content delivery in online environments.

In a face-to-face class, you have the advantage of communicating directly to your students and making adjustments based on their responses. Although you cannot be present with students in the same way when teaching online, there are many different ways of conveying information and guiding the exploration of ideas that help students build knowledge.

Adjust your role as a teacher by maintaining an active and engaged online social presence.

At first glance, an online environment can seem to disconnect students as they are separated by space and time. But in reality, teaching online offers us many, and even unique ways to build the kind of connections and community that encourage collaborative learning.

Why Is This Important?

As more and more of our lives and careers are impacted by the digital world, online learning provides many and diverse benefits for students. 

Democratization of the classroom

In a face-to-face course, you can miss opportunities to talk and work closely with all your students because the most outspoken students can often dominate the conversation. Online courses give all of your students the chance to consider materials while contributing thoughtful responses and creating well-crafted work.

Convenience and flexibility in scheduling for you and your students

Students can do coursework on their own schedule and at their own pace. This flexibility facilitates balancing school, work and/or family obligations, enabling students to access more courses. Faculty members who teach online can also take advantage of this scheduling flexibility to balance teaching and their own personal obligations, as well as professional duties such as research, service, and mentoring students.

Development of digital fluency

Despite most students now being digital natives, many of them have a limited depth or breadth of proficiency with using online tools and apps for academic and professional purposes.

Explore More

Architecting Online Courses DDIG

“Architecting Online Courses”

Our Deeper Dive Instructional Guide (DDIG) will help you explore key decisions and principles of learning design for online courses.

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Strategies for Using Canvas

See the Canvas Training Center for tips about technology and teaching.

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Value of Digital Learning

Office of Digital Learning enumerates the benefits to learners and educators.