Teaching Online at ECU

What is an Online Course?

An online course is one where the entire traditional face-to-face course is replaced by online assignments and activities housed in a learning management system (LMS). Online courses are popular for students because they can complete their coursework and activities at a time that fits their specific schedules and circumstances. Instructors can choose to offer their courses synchronously, asynchronously or a mix of the two methods. 

Designing Online Instruction

If you are considering teaching a course online, you’ll want to consider these things as you plan:

  • How will I deliver course materials to my students?
  • How will your students complete coursework?
  • How will you assess your students’ learning?
  • How will you communicate with your students?

Teaching Strategies for Online Courses

Being an effective online teacher requires the use of teaching and learning strategies that can differ from the traditional face-to-face classes approach. The University of Maryland University College has prepared its UMUC Expectations for Classroom Setup and Online Teaching PDF. The Illinois Online Network discusses “Instructional Strategies for Online Courses” and “Alternatives to the Online Lecture.” Links to several resources for online learning activities are available from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Accessibility Online

If you are designing online content, you will want to ensure that it meets accessibility requirements. ECU provides information about accessibility here. You can also use this IT accessibility checklist from the University of Washington will help you meet general accessibility guidelines.

Training Opportunities for DE Instructors

ECU DE Modules

ECU offers training modules that can help you get prepared for building your course. The modules cover a wealth of topics that you’ll need to address in your online course. More information about the DE Modules can be found at the ECU Distance Education Modules page.


ECU Resources

ECU Academic Technologies provides instructors with resources and support for online teaching.

Canvas – The primary learning management system (LMS) in use for ECU courses is Canvas. Every course at ECU regardless of whether is taught online or face-to-face has a Canvas shell created for it automatically. If you’d like to learn more about using Canvas in your course, check out the list of training available through the ECU Academic Technologies team.

WebEx – For synchronous online course meetings, ECU now uses WebEx. WebEx is a web-conferencing tool that allows audio, video, and chat contact, as well as sharing of documents and even the instructor’s desktop. WebEx sessions can even be recorded for later viewing. Click here to learn more about WebEx and to access training materials.

Library Support – The librarians in ECU Libraries can help provide resources and materials for online instructors. Click here to learn more about the kinds of resources they offer.


Additional Resources

Teaching Idea Sparks – Resources and ideas from fellow faculty on a variety of online teaching topics.

External Resources for Teaching Online – Sites and materials outside of ECU that can help you move your course online.

Moving to Alternative Instructional Formats – A guide from the University of North Carolina system for transitioning to an alternative teaching method.

Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Online Toolkit – Resources and recommendations to make a quick transition to online instruction

Online and Blended Teaching Toolkit – This toolkit from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee provides a wealth of resources available for teaching online or blended courses.

Pedagogy and Learning – The Illinois Online Network has provided some detailed information about online teaching and learning