Teaching Online

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is ‘Teaching Online’ Exactly?

Fully online teaching refers to courses that are delivered completely online in a virtual environment without ever meeting on-campus. Online courses are mainly conducted asynchronously but may include synchronous (or live meeting times) at an instructor’s discretion. Please watch this video to learn more about what teaching online ‘is’, and what it ‘is not.

Where Do I Start?

Scenario 1: Are you contracted to teach and develop a new fully online course?

  • A department chair and the Office of Online and Continuing Education (OCE) determine the need for faculty to develop and teach a new online course.
  • A New Online Course Development contract will be issued. 
  • Contracted faculty are required to complete the Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course.
  • Contracted faculty will submit to the Quality Online Course Review process prior to the start of the new online course. 

Scenario 2: Are you assigned to teach a fully online course for the first time?

  • Before teaching online, faculty are required to successfully complete the Online Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) course.
  • Faculty with extensive prior experience developing and teaching fully online courses at other institutions should complete the Online Teaching Profile form to be considered for bypassing the OTLS training requirement.

Submit Online Teaching Profile

What Is The Online Teaching And Learning Strategies Training Course?

OTLS is a rigorous four-week, fully online certification course that introduces faculty to the current research and best practices for online teaching and learning. Using their own discipline-specific course materials for activities, faculty work independently, collaboratively with peers from across campus, and with Instructional Designers to design and build one unit of online instruction in a myCourses site.

This unit meets the Quality Online Course Review Rubric criteria and becomes a model that faculty can reference and replicate as they continue to develop their upcoming fully online course(s). faculty do not have to be contracted to teach online in order to learn more about teaching online! All faculty are welcome.

Register for OTLS

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 is designed to be formative rather than punitive. 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. 

View the Quality Online Course Review Rubric

What Does The Review Process Entail?

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 3 Email Rachel Rebello (rrebello@umassd.edu) to initiate a review.
Step 4 An Instructional Designer and a seasoned online instructor conduct the course review.
Step 5 Constructive feedback is then sent to the faculty developer, noting any changes that need to be implemented.
Step 6 When the course meets the Quality Review criteria, the contract will be fulfilled and the process is complete.

Helpful Documentation:

Take a minute to explore these materials to see what designing and teaching an online course entails.

Do You Have More Questions?