Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research

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Best Practices in Teaching Online (BPTO)

Online learning is a form of distance education where students are physically separated by time and/or location and are connected through the Internet. Teaching and learning online opens the door to more freedom and convenience for students, more diversity in student membership, and access to a world of online resources. Teaching and learning online also poses many challenges.

About BPTO

The goal of the Best Practices in Teaching Online course is to be able to apply best practices in teaching online to your own course or subject area resulting in (1) an online course syllabus that meets or exceeds WIU Online Course Standards and (2) a sample online instructional module.

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 6-week online course is facilitated by our Instructional Design and Technology Specialists 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.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course you will be able to: 

  • Compare and contrast online instruction with classroom instruction.
  • Consider a learner-centered approach to teaching online.
  • Describe how distance in space and time impacts communications and learning.
  • Explore effective online communication tools and strategies that encourage and develop student collaboration and an online learning community.
  • Write a course goal and objectives consistent with both curricular goals and the nature of teaching online.
  • Appropriately select online course activities, assignments, and assessment measures based on the course goal and objectives.
  • Discuss issues, define barriers to success, and explore best practices in managing the "virtual classroom."
  • Define copyright and intellectual property issues as they apply to the development of online course materials.
  • Effectively edit and maintain an online learning module.
  • Baseline Online Course Standards for WIU.

Register for an Upcoming Session

  • Summer 2021:
    • Begins June 7: (Registration Open)
    • Second Section added! Begins July 12: (Registration Open)
  • Fall 2021:
    • Session 1 begins September 6
    • Session 2 to be determined

Note - You must be logged into your WIU gmail to access this form. Once you are registered, you will receive a welcome letter via email approximately one week prior to the course start date.