Teaching Online


The instructional approaches employed when teaching face-to-face courses have distinct differences from the approaches used while facilitating online courses. Learning to recognize these differences and reformulating the delivery of course content, in a way that engages and guides online learners, is essential to becoming a successful online instructor.

Where to Start

There are a two scenarios new online instructors typically find themselves in:

Scenario 1: Contracted to teach and develop a new fully online course.
When a department chair and University Extension determine the need for faculty to develop and teach an online course, a New Online Course Development contract will be issued.  Contracted faculty will then be required to successfully complete the Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course as well as submit to the Quality Online Course Review process prior to the start of the new online course. These processes are in place to ensure that faculty are prepared to teach in a fully online environment and that the newly developed online course adhere to UMass Dartmouth’s quality online course standards; in addition to industry best practices.

Scenario 2: Assigned to teach a fully online course for the first time.
Before teaching online at UMass Dartmouth, faculty are required to successfully complete the Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course to gain experience with best practices for online teaching and learning.

However, you do not have to be scheduled to teach online in order to learn more about teaching online! All instructors are welcome to register for any upcoming session of Online Teaching and Learning Strategies.

Upcoming Online Teaching and Learning Strategies Offerings

Teaching In: Summer/Fall’18 Winter’18 Spring’18 Maymester/Summer’18 Fall’19
Start Date: 6/6/18  10/31/18  10/31/18  3/20/19 6/5/19

Click on a date above to register for a particular session. This course is offered fully online through myCourses and runs for four weeks. Participants will not need to be on campus or attend any in-person meetings on a particular day or time. Work is assigned and due on a weekly basis.

*Please contact Instructional Development directly to discuss other options if your needs fall outside of the scheduled offerings listed above.

Instructors with extensive prior experience developing and teaching fully online courses at other institutions can fill out the Online Teaching Profile form. Submissions will be taken into consideration when deciding if an instructor could potentially bypass the requirement of participating in the Online Teaching and Learning Strategies course.

What is the Quality Online Course Review Rubric?

The Faculty Senate has approved the online course review process and related Quality Online Course Review Rubric to:

    • Assess how core best practices are being implemented in online courses.
    • Ensure that online courses are in compliance with federal ADA guidelines.
    • Ensure an inclusive and effective online learning experience for students.

The rubric and review process are designed to be formative rather than evaluative. Our goal is to engage faculty and departments in a collaborative conversation regarding effective online course design.

This rubric is not attached to the faculty review process.

How Does the Review Process Work?

The online course development contract requires that at least 50% of your new online course be developed and ready for review at least three weeks prior to the start of the course. At that time you must email the Academic Director of Online Education (Shannon Jenkins, sjenkins@umassd.edu) and Lead Instructional Designer (Rachel Rebello, rrebello@umassd.edu) to initiate the review of your course.

Following your email, an Instructional Designer and a faculty reviewer will review your course using the Quality Online Course Review Rubric. Feedback from reviewers will be emailed to you once the review is complete. Any changes recommended by reviewers should be implemented prior to the start of the course. A re-review will be scheduled only if a course does not pass initial review. The instructor must implement the changes outlined by reviewers by the newly scheduled deadline so that the course can be reviewed a second time. The earlier a course is submitted for review, the better!

Becoming a Successful Online Instructor

Check out the materials posted below to explore what designing and teaching an online course entails.

Please also feel free to contact the ID Team with any questions you may have about teaching online. We look forward to working with you!