Teaching Online Workshop

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Teaching Online Workshop

The Teaching Online Workshop (TOW) is an intensive online workshop designed to prepare faculty members  to teach an “online” course. By definition, an online course is a course in which online (or other distance) instruction is combined with face to face instruction, where a substantial portion of the face to face instruction is replaced by online instruction. Completing TOW is a requirement for DU faculty members planning to teach online.

TOW Screenshot

What is the Teaching Online Workshop (TOW)?

The Teaching Online Workshop (formerly Distance Learning Workshop) is offered 2-3 times per year. The workshop is delivered entirely online and instructors experience online learning first-hand from the student perspective. Participants develop their online course as part of the workshop activities and will:

  1. Learn best practices for designing an online course using the Quality Matters course design standards.
  2. Learn best practices for teaching an online course.
  3. Collaborate and network with colleagues through weekly online discussions and peer reviews.
  4. Design an online course syllabus and student learning activities that are consistent with your learning objectives.
  5. Learn how to organize and post online course materials in Blackboard.
  6. Identify the challenges and benefits of teaching online.
  7. Practice communication strategies for teaching an online course.

Instructors and staff who complete the online workshop receive a certificate of completion from the Office of Teaching & Learning, a copy of Ko and Rossen’s, Teaching Online, A Practical Guide book, and a Quality Matters Rubric Workbook. We will also add your name to the OTL website.

Thinking about teaching online? Take this Faculty Self-Assessment for Online Teaching Preparedness to see if you are ready for online teaching.

What is the time commitment?

TOW Schedule and Estimated Faculty Time Commitment

  • Pre-Workshop – 1-3 hours
  • 3 Weeks Online – 5-10 hours per week (varies based on your level of experience with Blackboard and number of times you have taught the course)
  • Post Workshop – 3-5 hours, 1-2 weeks after the online workshop ends (In person course presentations and online Quality Matters peer & self reviews)

Why do I have to take a workshop before I can teach an online course?

The University of Denver is committed to providing our students with quality online courses and online course development & delivery requires a high level of organization and a different method of delivery than traditional classroom instruction. It is important to pay careful attention to course organization and design to improve student engagement, learning, and retention when developing an online course. By participating in the Teaching Online Workshop, faculty members will experience online learning from the student perspective, learn best practices for developing and facilitating online courses, and will develop their online course as part of the workshop activities.

When is the next workshop?

The next Teaching Online Workshop will be offered in Spring 2014 (March 31-May 16, 2014) and another workshop will be offered during the Summer term.  Contact Kathy Keairns if you would like to be added to the notification list for future workshops.

Register for Spring Workshop

How will the Teaching Online Workshop benefit me?

Over 150 faculty members have completed the Teaching Online Workshop since Fall 2009! Here’s what some instructors have said about their experience:

“Thank you all for a very worthwhile experience. While swamped as usual with other work, I am very happy I did the course. Not only was it valuable for exposure and expansion of useful tools and sharing ways to run courses, but the substantive pedagogical discussions online were both very engaging and provocative.”

“Thanks for all your help. I NEVER would have felt comfortable or been able to do this without this class. I still have SO much to learn, but I can’t tell you how great this has been.”

“I’m really looking forward to developing & teaching online and this workshop has helped me to feel more confident in my ability to offer a course that will be informative and interesting.”

“From being a student in this workshop which was so WELL-planned, it’s incredibly evident that a poorly-planned course will completely confuse and frustrate students, making learning impossible. Why not set yourself and the students up for success in the first place, by creating something that works and flows easily?”

Learn More

Teaching Online Initiative

Teaching Online Workshop Alumni

Teaching Online Portfolio

Online Course Example

DU Distance Learning Council

Recommended Competencies for Online Instructors (PDF)

What Students Should Know About Online Courses

Who to contact?

For more information, contact Kathy Keairns.

© 2013 University of Denver - Office of Teaching & Learning