Though the principles of online course design are not altogether different from those utilized in the traditional classroom, it is important that instructors are cognizant of how the details of their course can be implemented in this type of environment. Providing instructors with development opportunities ans support not only increases the chance of success but also a willingness to adopt the learner centered approaches and global learning opportunities that are essential components of the distance learning paradigm.

To be effective, an online instructor must not only be knowledgeable of the course content, but also be able to effectively apply the interpersonal skills needed to effectively communicate with their students online and develop communities in MOOC type environments. As such, on online instructor is no longer seen as a lecturer bu instead assumes broader roles as planners, designers, guides, mentors, and facilitators and will no longer be seen as lectures in online learning environments. This rapid evolution of knowledge and responsibility require innovative development of curriculum and greater flexibility in how an instructor "teaches" a course. Flexibility and innovation in course design is often best achieved by instructors the incorporate problem based, student centered activities. This approach particularly meets the needs of professionals and lifelong learners seeking educational opportunities that fit into their schedules and do not necessarily require a physical presence on campus.

The transition from face-to-face instruction to online learning is not an easy one for many faculty and is often complicated by difficulties in accessing development opportunities and resources in online pedagogy and best practices of course design for online learning. This site is designed to reduce faculty development roadblock by offering any time, any where online resources and tutorials for effective online course design and management.


Organizing a learning session requires two skills: 1) the ability to organize a class through the syllabus and the sequencing of material and 2) the ability to help students see connections and relationships. This module explores both skills.

What an instructor does in the first few class sessions sets the tone for the rest of the semester. We know from research on teaching that classrooms in which students can be actively involved in the learning process are more effective for student learning. This module explores what instructors can do create a climate in which students are willing to be active participants.

Students stay interested and learn more from the class when instructors use many different techniques to involve them in the learning process. These range all the way from very short and simple techniques like telling a story about the material to more involved activities like small group work during collaborative learning projects.

This module explores a number of suggested techniques that can be integrated into the learning process.

In responding to student questions there are a number of guidelines which can positively reinforce good student responses and facilitate further discussion. This module will explore a few recommended guidelines.

Almost all instructors will need to lecture some of the time. An effective lecture can stimulate and involve students. A boring lecture becomes another requirement to be suffered through. Lectures are useless as a learning tool if students are not paying attention. Lectures that are poorly organized or presented in a boring way simply do not hold student attention. Let's look at some ways to develop an interesting presentation.

There are several informal strategies for getting feedback so that the students who give it will benefit from it. This module provides a number of feedback techniques.