Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research

Get Started Teaching Online

The following process and requirements must be met before teaching your first online course at Western Illinois University.

PROCESS and Requirements

  1. Register and complete the Best Practices in Teaching Online (BPTO) course before the start date of the course you are assigned to teach. (Special circumstances may allow for completing the course concurrently with the online course you are teaching).
  2. Develop an Online Course Syllabus that adheres to WIU's Course Syllabus Policy and ensure that it meets the required accessibility guidelines. To get started, Download CITR's Accessible Syllabus Template (.docx) and view CITR's Syllabus Template guidelines for more details.
  3. Develop at least 80% of the online course content before submitting your course for approval, which must be completed and approved no later than one week before your course start date. We recommend that you copy the Online Course Template before you begin to develop your course. Contact CITR to request assistance).
  4. Request an online course approval through CITR if your course is being taught online for the first time or it is being redesigned.
    • Download and use our Online Course Requirement Checklist (pdf) as a guide when developing your course.
    • Upon completion, a CITR representative will review courses based on the guidelines established in the checklist and work with faculty to ensure the course will be approved.
    • Request the necessary content approval of your department chairperson as denoted on the Online Course Requirement Checklist.

NOTE: During the Spring 2020 semester WIU and UPI signed a Memorandum of Agreement (pdf) that relieved faculty of the requirement that their online courses be approved prior to opening. This agreement is in effect during this critical incidence period and will be revised upon the time that this period is over. All of the items listed below are very much encouraged although they are not mandated during this time. All services will remain available to all of our faculty throughout this time, and faculty who wish to do so are encouraged to continue using them as a resource.

Popular Topics

  • August 22, 2020, WIU-UPI Memorandum of Agreement (COVID-19)
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    During the Spring 2020 semester, WIU and UPI signed a Memorandum of Agreement that relieved faculty of the requirement that online courses be approved before being taught. This agreement is in effect throughout the critical incidence period associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All CITR services will remain available throughout this unprecedented time. Faculty who wish to complete the defined process are encouraged to continue using those services as a resource.

    Read the entire Memorandum.

  • Best Practices in Teaching Online Course (BPTO)
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    In this course, you will explore both the opportunities and the challenges of teaching online. You will experience online learning as both a student and an educator, building empathy for both roles. You will consider what is unique about learning online, as well as learning principles that stand consistent no matter what the delivery system. This online course is instructor‐facilitated and includes weekly discussions, individual and small group activities. Throughout the course, participants will construct a sample online course syllabus that considers course goals and objectives suitable for an online course, an online communications strategy, and the selection of student learning activities and assessments. Learn more about BPTO and Register

  • Online Course Requirement Checklist
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    The Western Illinois University Online Course Requirement Checklist is the assessment instrument for approving the instructional and technical design of online courses at WIU. All requirements included on this checklist must be satisfied for your online course approval. If there is an element missing or not meeting the requirement an Instructional Designer will assist you in meeting the approval requirements. Download and familiarize yourself with the Online Course Requirement Checklist and rely upon it while developing your course to ensure that you are meeting all requirements. If you have questions contact CITR for assistance.

  • Online Course Template
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    The Online Course Template is a template built in Western Online that contains the structure for an online course with many items required by the checklist already in place. You can customize and add your own content into provided sections. Contact CITR to have the template copied into your Western Online course shell. See Instructions for Customizing the Online Course Template (Google Doc) to learn how easy it is to build your course with the assistance of the template.

  • Online Syllabus Template
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    The Online Course Syllabus Template is an accessible template built in Microsoft Word that contains all of the required sections for an online course syllabus. Visit our Online Syllabus Template web page for additional information and resources.

  • Proctoring Exams Online
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    Online students should be able to complete their courses entirely online (unless noted before course registration) through WIU’s Learning Management System (Western Online), this includes most quizzes and examinations (Some high-stakes exams may still require live proctoring and that should be stated at the time students register for their online courses). Additionally, students participating in face-to-face or alternative learning formats may need the ability to take online examinations to complete course requirements.

    Currently, there are multiple options for administering and proctoring fully online examinations through Western Online. Get all of the necessary information by visiting our Creating Online Exams page.
  • Online Course Evaluation
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    The Online Course Evaluation (OCE) system is the online version of your end of course evaluations that your students fill out. Before using the OCE, faculty need to verify they have an approved instrument/evaluation (contacting Sharon Thompson - SK-Thompson2@wiu.edu). Only chairs and directors of the academic programs can set dates and retrieve course evaluations.

    Access the Online Course Evaluation System

    View the CITR tip sheet for Providing a Link to WIU's Online Course Evaluation Tool (Google Doc)

  • Office Hours for Online Courses
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    As per article 32.1-g of the faculty contract, all full time faculty shall maintain a schedule of at least four office hours per calendar week spread over at least three days. Additionally, faculty should also provide an opportunity for online students to contact them during this time as well. Please keep your remote students in mind and provide them with a method of contacting you during your office hours (i.e. office phone, email, Google Meet, etc.)

Tip Sheets

Tips for Writing Learning Objectives (Google doc)

Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication in Western Online (Google doc)

Creating an Accessible Syllabus - MAC (Google Doc) | Creating an Accessible Syllabus-WIN (Google Doc)

Using the CITR Online Course Template (Google Doc)

Video Tutorials

Strategies for Teaching Online
Communication, Collaboration, and Community in an Online Course