Going Online: Steps to Get Started
Moving on ground courses to an online format brings with it some unexpected challenges. Below you will find tools and resources to help you continue to provide excellent and engaging learning experiences for your students.
Step 1 - Create a Plan
Going online in the middle of an academic cycle can be a daunting task. By taking your time and making a plan, you and your students can have a seamless transition into a quality online learning space. Here are some resources to check out as you plan your course in an online format.
- Online Learning Consortium provides helpful resources including a link to this free online teaching toolkit with ACUE.
- Educause Review provides some best practices to consider before moving face to face courses online.
- Inside Higher Ed provides elements to consider when thinking through an online format for your course.
- Using a Course Planning Sheet will help you map out content, week-to-week, to help your students make connections between concepts. Once this sheet is complete, you will have a clear guide of where things will need to be uploaded and/or created within Canvas.
- Use UM3D Course Recommendations to ensure you have included all of the essential components of quality online course design in your planning.
Step 2 - Maintain a Connection With Students
While you may not be able to meet with students in person for a while, you can still maintain the same connection virtually. It is important that you create a presence online for your students. Below are some resources to help you build that connection.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education offers principles and practices for delivering instruction on their webpage entitled How to Be a Better Online Teacher.
- To ensure conversations are engaging, review 10 tips for Effective Online Discussions.
- Discussion Boards: Valuable? Overused? Discuss offers additional information about ways to utilize discussion boards effectively in online spaces.
Step 3 - Add Content, Activities, and Assessments
Putting content, activities, and assessments into the course is very important. When possible, content should inform students but not overwhelm them. Think back on how you organize your in-person courses each week? Try to create a similar flow. Canvas provides countless tools that can help you create weekly introductions and overviews, lectures, and quality assessments.
- UM3D trainers are available to help you learn the technology tools within Canvas. Check out their training schedule and documentation.
- LinkedIn tutorials walk you through ways to utilize video as well as why you should consider chunking content.
- Use Canvas Studio to capture any area of your screen, add narration from your microphone, as well as video from your webcam. It can also be used to move PowerPoint presentations online.
- UM3D’s GOLD Rubric outlines best practices to examine when adding content, activities, and assessments to your course. Feel free to consult the rubric as you add material to your course.
- Be sure to see if you can find alternative ways to provide Assessments.
- Here are some recommendations for Synchronous meetings.
Step 4 - Teach Online
Now that you've created your plan, established communication with your students, and begun setting up your online course, it's time to start building learning experiences. If you encounter any issues, we're here to help.
- UM3D Technology Trainers - For technology and software questions and concerns that arise as you move your course online, please visit the Canvas website.
- UM3D Instructional Designers - For guidance and support with course design, development, and delivery.
- Monitor your students’ progress through Canvas' New Analytics tool.
- Suddenly Teaching Online? Free Resources to Help Faculty(Linkedin Learning)
- Building key marketable and technological skills is key to operating in an online environment.