What Is Teaching Online?
Online teaching refers to courses that are delivered completely online in a virtual environment, meaning there are no on-campus class sessions. Online courses are mainly conducted asynchronously but may include synchronous (or live meetings) at an instructor’s discretion. Please watch the video below to learn more about what teaching online is and what it is NOT.
What Is Involved?
Take a minute to explore these materials to see what designing and teaching an online course entails.
- Online Teaching Guide
- Writing Measurable Objectives & Outcomes
- Levels of Interaction in Online Courses
- Checklist for Online Course Success
- UMass Dartmouth Syllabus Template (accessible version)
- Ensuring Academic Integrity in Online Courses
Where Do I Start?
There are a few scenarios new-to-online instructors at UMassD typically find themselves in:
Scenario 1: Contracted to teach and develop a new fully online course.
When a department chair and the office of Online and Continuing Education (OCE) 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 Instructional Development’s Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course and submit to the Quality Online Course Review process prior to the start of the new online course. These processes help to ensure that faculty are prepared to teach in a fully online environment and the newly developed online course adheres 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 Instructional Development’s Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course to gain experience with best practices for online teaching and learning.
Scenario 3: Taught fully online prior to teaching at UMass Dartmouth.
Instructors with extensive prior experience developing and teaching fully online courses at other institutions can fill out the Online Teaching Profile form. Submissions are taken into consideration when deciding if an instructor could potentially bypass the requirement of participating in Online Teaching and Learning Strategies.
What Is Online Teaching and Learning Strategies?
OTLS is a fully online, four-week course that introduces faculty to the current research and best practices for online teaching and learning. There are no on-campus meetings during this course. Work is assigned and due on a weekly basis. Faculty will work independently, collaboratively with peers from various disciplines across campus, and with Instructional Designers to design and build one unit of online instruction in a myCourses site. However, faculty do not have to be contracted to teach online in order to learn more about teaching online! All faculty are welcome to register for an upcoming session.
Faculty contracted to teach in a particular semester participate in an OTLS session prior to the start of their upcoming online course. If you are teaching in the:
- Winter’20 semester, take the 10/30/19 session.
- Spring’20 semester, take the 10/30/19 session.
- Maymester or Summer’20 semesters, take the 3/18/20 session.
- Fall’19 semester, take the 6/03/20 session.
Please contact Instructional Development directly to discuss other options if your needs fall outside of the scheduled offerings listed above.
What Is The Quality Online Course Review Rubric?
The Faculty Senate 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. The 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?
Step 1: Submit signed New Online Course Development contract to Online and Continuing Education (OCE).
Step 2: Develop at least 50% of the course at least three weeks prior to the course start date.
Step 4: An Instructional Designer and a seasoned online instructor conduct the course review.
Step 5: Constructive feedback is then sent to faculty developer, noting any changes that need to be implemented.
Step 6: When the course meets Quality Review criteria, the contract will be fulfilled and the process is complete.
Still Have Questions?
Please do not hesitate to contact Instructional Development with any additional questions you may have about getting started with teaching online.