Online Teaching 101
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Online Teaching 101

Online Teaching Series
June 14 - July 19, 2011

The online teaching environment poses unique opportunities for faculty unlike many familiar face-to-face contexts.  Those considering teaching in the online environment for the first time often have questions as to where to begin and often seek examples for what a quality online course consists of.

This online experience provides NIU faculty and staff with a systematic overview of the various pedagogical and pragmatic considerations necessary in offering a quality online learning experience for students. Through this five-week online course, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Experience from the student's perspective various aspects of a sample online course deployed using Blackboard
  • Explore the various roles and responsibilities of online faculty and students
  • Take an online teaching inventory to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify effective online teaching and learning strategies
  • Actively participate in numerous online learning activities
  • Discuss copyright, intellectual property, fair use, and accessibility considerations
  • Explore strategies for promoting communication in the online learning environment
  • Experience a variety of technologies useful for facilitating teaching and learning online
  • Network with other NIU faculty and staff interested in online teaching

Participants will meet for an initial face-to-face orientation on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm. The next five sessions will be conducted online in Blackboard and structured as weekly modules of an online course. Each module will include a variety of engaging and interactive activities (both synchronous and asynchronous) providing participants a taste of what it is like to be an online student. As modules will take place online, participants can complete the various activities and assignments when most convenient during the week from any computer with an Internet connection. Participants can expect to spend 5-6 hours online per week engaging in module activities. A concluding face-to-face session will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

Any NIU faculty and staff interested in developing and teaching an online or blended course will find this online experience to be of benefit. While the information covered is organized into modules each lasting one week, participants who complete the entire online experience will likely benefit most. Those who participate in the entire online experience will earn a certificate of completion. Advanced registration is required and enrollment is limited.

Online Teaching 101 Tentative Schedule

Modules Dates Format
Tue, June 14 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Face-to-Face Orientation Session
Wed, June 15 - Tue, June 21
Online via Blackboard
Wed, June 22 - Tue, June 28
Online via Blackboard
Wed, June 29 - Tue, July 5
Online via Blackboard
Wed, July 6 - Tue, July 12
Online via Blackboard
Wed, July 13 - Tue, July 19
Online via Blackboard
Tue, July 19 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Face-to-Face Concluding Session

Face-to-Face Orientation: Overview of Online Teaching and Learning
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Teaching in the online environment involves principles and practices different from traditional face-to-face instruction methods. Unique pedagogical and pragmatic considerations for teaching online must be considered when contemplating the development of an online course. This hands-on, face-to-face orientation to Online Teaching 101 will introduce the unique characteristics of online instruction and provide an overview of the components in an engaging and interactive online course. Participants will explore the online course environment that will be used for the remainder of the online sessions. In addition, the roles and responsibilities of the online instructor and students will be discussed and various institutional resources for further assistance with getting started teaching online will be shared.

Online Module 1: Principles of Effective Online Course Design
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Teaching online can be both challenging and rewarding. Whether teaching 100% online, using a blended approach and Blackboard for virtual discussions, or using some format in between, knowing how to effectively design courses for online learning is central to sound pedagogy. This module will begin with the fundamentals of instructional design and move to the specific elements of a well-designed course with online features.

Online Module 2: Technologies for Online Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A wide variety of technologies can be incorporated into an online learning environment to foster engaging and interactive learning experiences. This module will explore various technologies available today and best practices for selecting the right technologies and effectively implementing them into an online course.

Online Module 3: Considerations for Content Use and Development
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Media and materials used in face-to-face courses may need to be repurposed, converted into a digital format, or created new for use in online environments. In addition to the selection of these media, online educators must have basic knowledge of the course accessibility principles, copyright law, intellectual property and fair use issues. This module will provide tips for creating accessible documents and multimedia as well as present guidelines and suggestions in setting up an online course structure and selecting effective media and materials for use in an online course.

Online Module 4: Strategies for Promoting Communication Online
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Effective communication is a very important element of quality teaching and learning experiences in an online learning environment. This module will highlight strategies for defining clear focus and goals for online communication. We will discuss strategies for developing and encouraging online activities for learners and explore methods for evaluating the design and implementation of online course communication. Participants will get an overview of such collaboration tools as the Blackboard discussion board, group pages, Wimba Collaboration Suite, and podcasting, and will also have opportunities to explore how these tools could be incorporated into an online course to engage students in active and collaborative learning.

Online Module 5: Online Assessment Tools to Facilitate Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Assessing student learning in the online environment presents unique challenges and opportunities. Surveys, tests, electronic assignment submission, and new grading tools within Blackboard provide a variety of useful options that can be leveraged in a comprehensive approach to assessment in online learning. In this module participants will have the opportunity to experience the various online assessment tools in Blackboard. We will discuss strategies for reducing online testing errors as well as issues involving academic concerns with online testing.

Face-to-Face Conclusion: Steps to Developing Your Own Online Course
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Now that Online Teaching 101 is concluding, what are the next steps for designing an online course? How do you get started? In this session, participants will reflect upon the online learning experience and share their successes and challenges. Based on these experiences, participants will also discuss how to design a course that supports student success and avoids the potential pitfalls of learning online. This session will also celebrate the culmination of Online Teaching 101, including presentation of certificates of completion.

Registration Information:

The online series is open to NIU faculty and staff.  Advanced registration is required and enrollment is limited. Locations for face-to-face sessions will be made available when you register. Register by completing the form below. Include your name, title, department, phone, email, special accommodations needed, and the workshop(s) you plan to attend (as indicated in the registration form below). After submitting the registration form, if you do not receive a response within 2 working days, please contact the Center at

Faculty/Staff Registration Form

Registration is closed

Last Updated: 4/20/2011