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Online Teaching and Learning Resources

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

Online Course Syllabus Template
The UTK 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.

Online Synchronous Workshops
If you are new to the online teaching environment at UT or would like a refresher on the basics, sign up for Getting Started Teaching Online.

Researchers and practitioners in the field of online education have identified the very best pedagogical strategies for developing and delivering a quality online learning experience. Sign up for Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning to connect with your colleagues and find out more.

Best Practices for Developing and 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.

Actively Engaging Students in Asynchronous Online Classes (Riggs and 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, adminstrative and motivation barriers in online courses.

Tips 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.

From the IDEA Center
This article discusses what happens when students are “asked to share ideas and experiences with others whose backgrounds and viewpoints differ from their own.” Learn how to implement a successful teaching method that can engage all students in the online (or face to face) classroom.

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.

Online 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.

What 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.

openstax
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.

MERLOT
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.”

Online 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.”

The Learning House
Access a variety of research reports from Learning House, including Online Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences (2019), and Online Learning at Public Universities.
https://www.learninghouse.com/knowledge-center/research-reports/

Grade 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. https://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradeincrease.pdf

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.
https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/digital-learning-compass-distance-education-enrollment-report-2017/

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.
https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/access-and-accessibility-in-online-learning/

Online Learning Consortium: https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/
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: https://www.educause.edu/
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):
https://wcet.wiche.edu/
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: https://www.aace.org/
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 and Distance Education: https://www.icde.org/
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.”