drawing on a whiteboard elements of online course

Online Course Design Academy


July 6 - July 24, July 27 - August 14


Online - The Online Course Design Academy is facilitated through a course in Blackboard, which will become available shortly before the start of the Academy.


Asynchronous, with 2 optional synchronous sessions (mark your calendars for Tuesday at 12-1 PM CT in weeks 1 and 3). The Academy incorporates active learning strategies, encourages interaction among peers, and includes assessments to guide you through the design of your own course.

Register Now!

July 6 - 26

July 27 - August 14

Each Academy is the same - register for the dates that best fit your schedule


During this three-week online Academy, you will learn the practices and principles of effective online course design and apply them as you begin to develop your online course for the Fall 2020 semester or Spring 2021. Each week, you will experience and examine a variety of methods of online delivery firsthand and will select and implement effective strategies for quality online teaching and learning in your course(s). The Academy will include active learning activities, such as discussions and a design project. 

By the end of our Academy, you will be able to:

  • Incorporate active learning strategies in an online learning environment
  • Align objectives, assessments, activities, and content in an online learning environment
  • Select technology appropriate for your course objectives
  • Identify resources at NIU that support online course design and delivery
  • Experience online learning from a student's perspective

In addition, participating in the online Academy will help you connect to a community of peers interested in online course design, and gain confidence in your ability to design and deliver an online course. Here's what one recent participant had to share about the experience completing the academy:

Thank you for the information I learned in the Online Course Design Academy. The class was very helpful for me because I had never taught a course online. It gave me an opportunity to experience an online course as a student.

Technology Requirements

The Online Course Design Academy will be conducted in Blackboard, so you must have a computer with a browser compatible with Blackboard. For optional live online meetings, headphones with a built in microphone is suggested.

You should have basic computer skills (Internet browsing and file management) and prior experience with Blackboard.

Registration Information

This online academy is open to those who are teaching online or developing online courses for fall 2020 or spring 2021.

Attendance at live online sessions is strongly encouraged but not required for participation or completion. Participants can complete the Academy by viewing recordings of the sessions.

Registration Deadline: Friday before the start date. 

After you register, if you are unable to participate, please cancel your registration at citl.niu.edu/myprograms so that those on the waiting list may be given the opportunity to participate in this effort.


If you have any questions about the Online Course Design Academy, please contact the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at 815-797-2477 or citl@niu.edu.

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