Online Teaching - Best Practice Examples and Resources

The links below are also available on the Mission College Instructor Online Course Checklist.

Overall Organization and Presentation

10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education (Faculty Focus from Magna Publications) – Refer #1: Show Up and Teach (pp. 5-6) and #9 Quality Counts (pp. 21-22).

Best Practices in Designing Online Courses (Las Positas College) – Refer to section II. Course Organization and Design. Includes links to examples.

Customizing Lesson Icons in ANGEL (Mission College) – Customized icons help identify the content and also highlight important information, such as material that needs to be submitted.

Course Syllabus

Designing for Learning: Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online Quick Guide for New Online Faculty (J.V. Boettcher) – Refer to #3: Share a set of very clear expectations for your students and for yourself.

Mission College Faculty Handbook: Instruction, Procedures & Information – Refer to Syllabi (pp. 39-40).

Ensuring the Appropriate Use of Educational Technology: An Update for Local Academic Senates (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges) – Refer to Effective Practices for Support of Faculty and Students in Courses using Technology (p. 17).

Online & Hybrid Course Syllabus Example (Pasadena City College)

Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation Resource Guide (TeacherSTream, LLC 2009) – Refer to Best Practices: Netiquette (p. 4).

Course Content

Mission College Curriculum Handbook and CurricUNET Users' Guide – Refer to Part 1: Regulations, Laws, and Policies: Units (pp. 16-17) and Distance Education (p. 20).

Best Practices in Designing Online Courses (Las Positas College) – Refer to section III. Instructional Design. Includes links to examples.

10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education (Faculty Focus from Magna Publications) – Refer #3: Establish Patterns of Course Activities and #4 Plan for the Unplanned.

10 Things I've Learned About Teaching Online (Michelle Everson) – Refer to #Students Need Extrinsic Motivation.

Best Practices in Online Course Design (UC Irvine) – A two page handout highlighting important design tips.

Discover the Keys to Online Group Activities (Magna Publications News Release) – Includes an "online group work checklist" for creating and implementing online group projects.

Discussion Forums as Assignments

Best Practices: The Discussion Board (Cuyahoga Community College Office of eLearning & Innovation) – This short document does a great job of providing succinct practical tips for designing and using discussion forums.

Generating and Facilitating Engaging and Effective Online Discussions (University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program) – Includes the chart "Writing Good Discussion Questions" (p. 5).

Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation Resource Guide (TeacherSTream, LLC 2009) – A number of topics have been addressed, including: facilitation tips, content area suggestions, time management strategies and much more.

Designing for Learning: Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online Quick Guide for New Online Faculty (J.V. Boettcher) – Refer to #7-Prepare discussion posts that invite questions, discussions, reflection and responses.

Characteristics of Quality Discussion Board Posts (Nancy Rubin)

Discussion Board: Online Discussion for Blended Learning (California State University, Sacramento) – This was written for a hybrid classroom instructors, but is still very applicable to online as it covers best practices, plus cognitive, social, and teaching presence. Provides examples.

Discussion Rubrics (Teaching Online: Pedagogical Repository) – Includes examples.

Rubric Samples for Grading Discussions (Cleveland State University)

Student Interactions

Mission College Guidelines for Distance Learning Instructors – Refer to Regular Effective Contact Guidelines (p. 5-7).

Online Course Interaction (Oklahoma State University) – Provides guidelines and examples for instructor-student interaction, student-content interaction, and student-student interaction.

Ensuring the Appropriate Use of Educational Technology: An Update for Local Academic Senates (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges) – Refer to "Effective Practices for Instructor-Student Contact and Interactivity" (p. 21-22).

Strategies for Managing the Online Workload (Penn State) – A collection of 56 short podcasts (less than one minute) of tips, techniques, and methods to help online instructors manage their time more effectively.

10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education (Faculty Focus from Magna Publications) – Refer #2: Practice Proactive Course Management, #5 Responses Requested and Expected, #6: Think Before You Write, #7: Help Maintain Forward Progress, and #8: Safe and Secure.

Designing for Learning: Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online Quick Guide for New Online Faculty (J.V. Boettcher) – Refer to #1: Be present in the course site, and #2: Create a supportive online course community.

Managing Your Online Class (Penn State) – This page assigns a timeline to "contact" activities.

Accessibility

Accessibly in Common Tools: ANGEL (Penn State) – Provides instructions on how to use the HTML editor to format text and images for accessibility and tips for designing accessible assessments.

ANGEL Accessibility User Overview (ANGEL) – Provides an overview of ANGEL accessibility features and serves as a roadmap for the user interface for users that may access ANGEL with screen reader software.

Mission College Organizational and Professional Development Resources: Accessibility - Includes links to instructions on how to make Word docs, PDFs, EXCEL spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations slides accessible, as well as how to use the different accessibility checkers.

Mission College Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) - If you have questions about your course accessible, contact Mike Denne in DSPS x5384.

Best Practices in Online Course Design and Delivery (Southern Oregon University) – Refer to Accessibility (pp 11-12) for a list of common obstacles and their solutions.

Jim Thatcher Web Accessibility Tutorial – Teaches the basics guidelines of Section 508 and the American Disabilities Act. This tutorial explains how to design a web page, or online course, so that it meets Priority One guidelines of the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative).