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. A step by step view of an online course from the Illinois Online Network is found at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/overview/nutshell.asp. The webpage at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructorProfile.asp 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 five DE modules located on Blackboard for each college. 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.

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 this occasional paper from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching: Download PDF, as well as a tutorial on using storyboards in online course design at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/pointersclickers/2004_09/index.asp and additional resources for online course design at
http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/id/index.asp. In "Distance Learning Course Design," Diane Ehrlich gives an overview of the design process for online instruction.

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 Expectations for Classroom Setup and Online Teaching, which gives an idea of what an online instructor needs to consider; the PDF can be downloaded from http://www.umuc.edu/faculty/facsupport/facultyexams/upload/online_exp_doc_042105.pdf. The Illinois Online Network discusses "Instructional Strategies for Online Courses" at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructionalstrategies.asp and "Alternatives to the Online Lecture" at http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/alternative.asp Links to several resources for online learning activities are available at http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/hybrid/faculty_resources/resources.cfm. 


Resources
For resources on online courses, visit http://uwm.edu/cetl/resources/online-blended-teaching-resources/ and http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/index.asp.