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Online Teaching & Learning Resources

The following resources can assist instructional faculty and academic administrators in planning, designing and teaching online, hybrid and distance education.

decorative imageOnline Course Syllabus Template
The UT Knoxville Online Course Syllabus template includes components that support best practices in online course design and delivery. The template is meant to serve as an example and contains navigation links and specific language that can be used when developing a syllabus for your online or hybrid course.

Best Practices for Developing & Delivering Online Instruction
This comprehensive set of standards from OIT Instructional Support is based on best practices in the field of online teaching, learning, and assessment. It should be used as a guideline for course development, and as a checklist to ensure your online course meets quality and accessibility standards.

Pedagogical Practices to Improve Your Online Course
From Faculty Focus, Five Pedagogical Practices to Improve Your Online Course, provides practical tips for delivering a successful online class.

Actively Engaging Students in Asynchronous Online Classes (Riggs & Linder, 2016)
Active learning activities and pedagogical strategies can look different in online learning environments, particularly in asynchronous courses when students are not interacting with the instructor, or with each other, in real time. This IDEA paper suggests a three-pronged approach for conceptualizing active learning in the online asynchronous class: the creation of an architecture of engagement in the online classroom, the use of web-based tools in addition to the learning management system, and a re-imagining of discussion boards as interactive spaces.

From Passive Viewing to Active Learning: Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Online Course Videos (Moore, 2013)
Discover active learning methods that can help increase the educational effectiveness of an online course video. Faculty can implement these methods using Canvas Studio.

Synchronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students (Norman, 2017)
From Faculty Focus, learn “concrete steps you can take to run class sessions that are energetic, interactive, and productive.”

10 Ways to Overcome Barriers to Student Engagement Online (Briggs, 2015)
From Academic Technology at the College of William and Mary, this blog post details strategies that can help students overcome social, administrative, and motivation barriers in online courses.

How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos (Guo, Kim, Rubin, 2014)

Videos are a widely-used kind of resource for online learning. This paper presents an empirical study of how video production decisions affect student engagement in online educational videos. It also provides recommendations for video production based on the findings within the study.

How Video Production Affects Student Engagement.PDF

decorative imageTips for Promoting Civility & Inclusion in Online Courses
This webpage provides tips to promote civility and inclusion in online coursework, including best practices for communicating with students, outlining your expectations, and utilizing technology.

Fostering an Inclusive Environment when Developing Online Courses
From ASU TeachOnline. Does your online course respect and encourage diversity? This article presents “facts and questions to consider in order to maximize your course inclusivity.”

Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Reflecting on Your Practice
From the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Teaching and Learning (CRTL). Use this document to reflect on your current teaching practice as it pertains to content, instructional strategies, instructor-student interactions and student-student interactions. As you reflect, think about how an online setting may or may not impact your teaching and communication methods.

Guidelines for Discussing Difficult or Controversial Topics
Whether you are teaching online synchronously or asynchronously, these guidelines from UM’s CRTL can assist you when designing and facilitating class discussions on controversial topics.

decorative imageOnline Instructor Toolkit
UT’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has developed the Online Instructor Toolkit to assist instructors in preparing and teaching their online courses. Topics covered include course design, teaching tools and campus resources.

The Blended Learning Toolkit (UCF)
The Blended Learning Toolkit is a free, open repository of information, resources, models, and research related to blended learning. Funded by a Next Generation Learning Challenge Wave 1 grant, the Toolkit is a collaboration between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (UCF)
The University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) offers the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) as a public resource for faculty and instructional designers interested in online and blended teaching strategies.

How to Be a Better Online Teacher
This advice guide from the Chronicle of Higher Education includes 10 essential practices and principles for success in the online classroom.

decorative imageWhat is an OER?
“Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation” (UNESCO).

University Libraries Research Guide: Open Education Portal
Learn how to find, adopt, and modify open educational resources, including open textbooks using this research guide.

OER Commons
A public digital library of open educational resources collection in multiple formats for various academic disciplines, OER Commons also allows users to create and submit their own educational resources for publication.

This nonprofit based at Rice University, openstax™ features open textbooks, resources, and technologies.

Open Textbook Library
Supported by the Open Textbook Network and based at the University of Minnesota, the open textbook library provides a collection of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.

Begun in 1997, MERLOT provides access to “curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.”

decorative imageOnline Learning Efficacy Research Database
Hosted by the Oregon State University Ecampus, this database is a “searchable resource of academic studies on the learning outcomes of online and/or hybrid education in comparison to face-to-face environments.”

decorative imageGrade Increase: Tracking Distance Education in the United States (2018)
Distance education enrollments continue to grow in the public and private sectors. Discover who the top 50 institutions are and their change in enrollment.

Digital Learning Compass: Distance Education Enrollment Report (2017)
Produced by Digital Learning Compass, in partnership with OLC, Pearson and Tyton Partners, the 2017 report points to continued growth in distance education, even as overall higher education enrollments decline.

Access and Accessibility in Online Learning
This white paper from the Online Learning Consortium provides an overview of critical terms, legal precedents, and other considerations to improve the educational experiences of learners with disabilities.

decorative imageOnline Learning Consortium:
The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. Attend a conference enroll in a workshop, or earn a certificate .

Educause is a nonprofit association and “the largest community of technology, academic, industry, and campus leaders advancing higher education through the use of IT.” Access research, resources and tools related to a variety of topics, including emerging technologies, IT leadership, and teaching and learning.

WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology (WCET):
A membership cooperative of institutions and organizations dedicated to advancing access and excellence in higher education through the innovative use of technology. Focus areas include: institutional success, policy and regulations, student success, and technology.

The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education:
The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) “is an international, not-for-profit, educational organization with the mission of advancing Information Technology in Education and E-Learning research, development, learning, and its practical application.”

The International Council for Open & Distance Education:
The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is the “leading, global membership organization that works towards bringing accessible, quality education to all through online, open and distance learning.”