Teaching in Distance Education

What is an Online Course?

An online course is one where the entire traditional face-to-face course is replaced by online assignments and activities. Online courses can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Online courses are becoming increasingly popular for students who need flexible schedules about when and where they can complete their coursework, such as non-traditional students, working students, or persons in the military deployed around the world. The Illinois Online Network provides a step by step view of an online course and addresses "What Makes A Successful Online Facilitator?

Training Opportunities for DE Instructors

ECU DE Modules

All faculty who teach in distance education must complete the DE modules located in Cornerstone. Once the modules have been completed, faculty maintain eligibility to teach online by being peer reviewed at least every three years with the approved DE Peer Observation Instrument and by completing distance education faculty development activities each year, as specified by their department or college. These can include activities offered by the Office for Faculty Excellence, ITCS, and individual colleges/departments.

Access recordings of DE Sessions by the Office for Faculty Excellence

Designing Online Instruction

If you are considering teaching a course online, you can find a discussion of things to consider in an occasional paper An Introduction to Teaching Online from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, as well as a tutorial on using storyboards in online course design and additional resources for online course design. In "Distance Learning Course Design," Diane Ehrlich discusses how interaction factors can be incorporated into course development.

Accessibility Online

If you are designing online content, this IT accessibility checklist from the University of Washington will help you meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.

Teaching Strategies for Online Courses

Teaching courses well online requires the use of teaching and learning strategies that can differ from the traditional approach to teaching face-to-face classes. The University of Maryland University College has prepared its UMUC Expectations for Classroom Setup and Online Teaching PDF. The Illinois Online Network discusses "Instructional Strategies for Online Courses" and "Alternatives to the Online Lecture." Links to several resources for online learning activities are available at from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.


Online and Blended Teaching Resources

Pedagogy and Learning

ITCS offers many technology tools to support DE instruction. Contact Ginny Sconiers to discuss training and support, sconiersg@ecu.edu or 328-9067.

Blackboard - Every course automatically has a Blackboard course created for it that can be used to deliver online courses or to contain materials for a course. Access ECU's Blackboard portal. The contact person for Blackboard is Matt Long, longm@ecu.edu or 328-9074.

For snychronous online course meetings, SabaMeeting software is available. Saba is a web-conferencing tool that allows audio, video, and chat contact, as well as sharing of documents and even the instructor's desktop. Saba sessions can be recorded for later viewing. The contact person for Saba is John Southworth, southworthj@ecu.edu or 328-9089.

ITCS offers a desktop recording software called MyMediasite that lets an instructor do lecture capture or desktop capture. The software is downloaded to your computer, so you can use it at home or in your office. It is easy to link to recordings through Blackboard. The contact for MyMediasite is Percevial Murphy, murphyp@ecu.edu or 737-5166.

There are also great ECU library resources to support DE instructions. David Hisle is a contact for Joyner, hisled@ecu.edu or 328-4978, and Christine Andresen for Laupus Library, andresenc@ecu.edu or 744-6156.