“I love these short courses and wish there were more!” – Faculty at DU

What Are Short Courses?

Short Courses in the OTL are intentionally designed opportunities for faculty to engage in topic-specific learning through a fully asynchronous environment with colleagues across campus. Our goal is to provide opportunities for faculty to engage in reflection, exploration, and application. You will walk away from these courses with evidence-based online teaching practices and lived experiences developing assignments and activities that can be directly integrated into your online courses.  

As a part of our OTL signature programming, this new short course model will include more consistency, transparency, flexibility, and opportunity for deeper learning. Faculty participants will have the opportunity to enroll in courses that align with their teaching goals. This bite-sized design (typically two weeks long) will also help faculty focus on specific topics within online learning.  

Below are the course descriptions, learning outcomes, deliverables, and other valuable information to help you decide if the course is right for you. There is no required sequence for enrolling and completing the short courses. However, our staff of Faculty Developers and Instructional Designers can offer recommended pathways based on interest and experiences with online learning principles. Consider these opportunities as a way to choose your own adventure

Interested in working towards our Teaching and Learning Online (TLO) Badge Program? Visit the TLO webpage to learn more and apply! 

Browse Short Courses

Table of Contents

Computers and technology scattered around a table with multiple students working.

Creating Community Online

This course is designed to help you learn how to build strong online learning communities for your students. This course will teach you some useful tools and strategies for using your online space as a part of establishing a strong community in your classroom, whether you teach fully online, hybrid, or face-to-face courses.

Primarily online instructors who have some control over the materials they teach, although any instructor looking to use their online course space to build classroom community may benefit

  • Utilize Canvas tools to both facilitate and participate in online community spaces
  • Recognize the characteristics of a thriving online community
  • Define their expectations for an online community
  • Design or re-design assignments to be collaborative and utilize the course community
  • Create a classroom community
  • Design or redesign an assignment

Lexi Schlosser (lexi.schlosser@du.edu) 

July 19 – August 2

January TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 

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Designing Online Courses

This course will help you learn how to design online courses with significant learning outcomes and online activities and assessments that align with your outcomes.

  • This course is for faculty that can design elements of their courses or wish to learn more about the course design process.
  • This course is not for faculty who cannot make any changes to their course design (via learning outcomes, assessment, or class activities)
  • Write learning outcomes with a lens toward significant learning
  • Design online assessments and activities that will help students achieve learning outcomes
  • Develop an alignment map to ensure alignment of each component of their course

Alignment table

Terri Johnson, terri.johnson@du.edu 

July 3-17 

December TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 

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Digital Accessibility

The TLO Digital Accessibility Course was designed to empower participants on their digital accessibility journey. The course explains what digital accessibility is and why it is important for teaching online. Participants will explore the Universal Design Online Inspection Tool (UDOIT) to check and resolve accessibility issues in their Canvas Course. In addition, participants will learn more about creating accessible course content (videos, readings, presentations, etc.). At the conclusion of the course, participants will use their increased awareness of accessible course design to create an Accessibility Action Plan.

Faculty Members (All Lines), Instructional Designers, Digital Accessibility Professionals, Administrators are encouraged to enroll. 

*Stipend may not be available for all roles, contact the facilitator with any questions

  • By the end of this course, participants will be able to:  
  • Know what digital accessibility is and why it is important for teaching online   
  • Understand how to check and resolve accessibility issues in their Canvas courses  
  • Increase awareness of inaccessible resources in their courses and know how to navigate making them accessible   
  • Develop an Accessibility Action Plan 
  • Enabling UDOIT in Canvas
  • Creating accessible learning materials 
  • Develop Accessibility Action Plan 

Lexi Schlosser (lexi.schlosser@du.edu) 

August 7-21 

February TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 

Student taking notes in a journal while watching a class recording.

Facilitating Online Courses

This course focuses on exploring effective methods for facilitating online courses, with particular emphasis on creating instructor presence and providing effective feedback. While many of the methods and practices we will discuss are broadly applicable, this course will be less beneficial for instructors who are unable to change or add course content.  

Instructors new to online teaching, instructors who want to strengthen their teaching presence and streamline their grading and feedback, instructors who have at least some autonomy over course content and protocol. The class would be less beneficial (though not useless) for adjuncts who have no autonomy over course content/facilitation and 2U users. 

  • Identify methods for creating instructor presence in online spaces
  • Describe processes for implementing effective feedback
  • Module 1: Discussion post that asks participants to reflect on their current teaching presence, and identifies two concrete actions they can take to strengthen their presence.
  • Module 2: Reflective essay in which the participants discuss their present feedback process and identifies two practices they could adopt to provide better feedback.
  • Final Module: A “choose-your-own-adventure”-type assignment, where participants choose two options from four possibilities. The possibilities include: creating a personal introduction video, design/redesign a mid-term survey, design/redesign a rubric for an assignment, and draft a new feedback policy to be included in a syllabus.

Terri Johnson, terri.johnson@du.edu 

June 14-28 

November TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 

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Teaching with Canvas

Teaching with Canvas will provide participants with the design thinking skills and tools to foster engagement and collaborative learning opportunities in their Canvas course. This short course encourages participants to dive deep into their Canvas practices and reflect on how they can create an engaging space for students to learn in all modalities. Whether this is your first time teaching with Canvas or seeking to revamp your Canvas course, this is the perfect course for you.

First time users of Canvas or those looking to revamp their Canvas course design.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Design your Canvas course container to align with best practices for course design.
  • Identify one advanced Canvas feature that you will use in your teaching through a course design and collaborative learning strategy.
  • Add tools and strategies to your teaching and learning toolkit.
  • Canvas course self-review
  • Feedback consultation with Instructional Designer 
  • Canvas video tour

Lexi Schlosser (lexi.schlosser@du.edu) 

August 23-Septemeber 6

April TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 


Teaching with Technology

This course is designed to help you discover and choose technology that can help you facilitate your courses, increase student engagement, and boost overall student success. This course will teach you about some useful tools and strategies for using these tools in your classroom, whether you teach online, hybrid, or face-to-face.

Any instructor looking to learn more about ed-tech tools or incorporate more technology into their course

  • Reflect on the benefits and challenges of using technology as a tool in their course.
  • Choose an ed-tech tool that aligns with their course assessments and learning outcomes
  • Design course activities and assignments that intentionally incorporate ed-tech tools

Design a class activity utilizing an ed-tech tool

Terri Johnson, terri.johnson@du.edu 

August 23 – September 6

March TBD

To register for this course, visit the OTL Event Registration page. 

Students giving different perspectives and feedback

Teaching@DU: For Newly Hired Faculty

The Teaching@DU Short Course introduces new faculty members to DU and the resources available to them, as well as provides an overview of the latest best practices in higher education pedagogy and educational technology.

The course is offered to all newly-hired full time faculty members each summer through a series of interactive online modules, discussion forums, and live webinar sessions. In addition, we offer a chance to meet face-to-face.  The course is available in August and early September and is based on a 2-hour time commitment for each module, totaling approximately 10 hours to complete the minimum requirements. It includes live sessions and weekly asynchronous discussions with target deadlines, but instructors can complete the course at their own pace from any location in August and early September.

Newly-hired full time faculty members.

If you are in a new teaching role at DU, even if you have taught elsewhere, this course is designed to provide you with an overview of the various resources available to help you achieve your full potential as a DU instructor. This course is designed so that you spend time on the aspects most relevant to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty of all ranks and titles are eligible to enroll. Staff and graduate student eligibility is dependent upon enrollment.

Each short course is designed around two primary modules and a final assignment. You can anticipate spending about five hours per week on each module (or about 10-12 hours total in the course). The course concludes in two weeks. They are also all self-paced with deadlines set as guidelines. The deadlines are there to promote active engagement in discussions with colleagues. If you are concerned about the amount of time it will take you to complete a course, reach out to the course facilitator.  

As you peruse through the courses, you will see whether the course qualifies for the TLO Foundational Badge criteria. If you are interested in learning more about the criteria before enrolling in a course, check out our TLO Badge Program webpage. You will not be able to apply past short course enrollments to the badge retroactively.

 TLO Short Course

Teaching @ DU: A Short Course for Newly Hired Faculty

Make a strong start to your full-time teaching career through a month-long, facilitated introduction to teaching at University of Denver.

A man and a woman look to the left attentively

Hybrid 3D Workshop

Explore strategies for designing, developing, and delivering hybrid courses that maximize student learning.

A woman explains a concept to two others