Teaching Online

If you are looking for URI Online information, please click here.

Teaching online brings unique challenges and opportunities, both for instructors and students. Technology mediates the experience and engagement, making the design of the course more salient. Once the design is in place, however, course delivery and your role in it are critical to its success. 

This topic focuses on teaching strategies and techniques for facilitation, interaction, and communication, for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, as well as for course management and feedback. Many of these techniques are ones that may apply in different course types and are very effective in online courses.

You can see more information on course design and explore the elements of an online course review.

Strategies & Techniques

Deeper Dives

Deeper dives provide opportunities for reflection and transformation around a specific topic for faculty to adapt, implement, and assess evidence-based strategies in their courses. Events include self-paced “courses”, high impact seminars, faculty institutes, and other special programs. Like any focused experience, these provide gains depended upon the time and introspection given to them. The times for self-paced courses are a broad estimate.

Paths to Becoming a Qualified Online Instructor

Current list of URI’s Qualified Online Instructors

Both URI’s regional accreditor, New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)1 and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) require in order to offer online courses and programs that we meet their standards which require that, “Faculty responsible for delivering the on-line learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the on-line learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.” 

The Joint Committee on Online and Distance Education has designated the methods listed below as ways that faculty can show they are “appropriately qualified” to teach online. Whether you’re looking to teach online with URI or with URI Online, there are different ways to gain qualification.

At URI, there are a few paths to qualification as an online instructor:

  • Completion of URI’s Online Pedagogy Course
  • Certificate of training in online teaching from a national organization such as OLC, Quality Matters, or the University of Wisconsin’s Professional Certificate in Online Education, and demonstrated competency in URI’s learning management system, Brightspace.
  • Certificate of training in online teaching from another regionally accredited higher education institution, and demonstrated competency in URI’s learning management system.
  • Faculty can demonstrate “experience” by submitting one of their Brightspace courses to the Quality Matters peer review process. If they score above 85%, they “test out” of training.

For URI Online, where faculty are developing master course shells for URIO programs and certificates, we use the cohort development model wherein all developing faculty design their courses together via an Instructional Designer facilitated Online Design Workshop. While it is ideal to have taken Online Pedagogy before entering Online Design, it is not necessary. For URIO courses developed later in the program or certificate process, 1:1 Instructional Design support is provided. All URIO courses must pass a Quality Matters review to launch. For more information on URI Online course development, please visit this page.