What You Need to Know About Teaching Online

Online teaching may be new to many of you, and it is important that you are prepared to be successful in this environment before teaching an online course.  The OTL provides instructional design assistance and workshops for faculty members interested in developing online courses.

Enrollment & Minimum Duration Guidelines for Online Courses

It is accepted as a best practice that online instructors be present in an online course which includes monitoring and supporting online class activities by logging into the course multiple times per week to interact with online students and to provide feedback. We recommend that online courses limit enrollment to no more than 20 students, which is a manageable size for facilitating active learning and providing timely feedback and guidance to students.  The minimum duration for online courses is four weeks.

Preparing for Online Teaching

If you are not sure whether or not online teaching is for you, we recommend taking the Faculty Self-Assessment developed by researchers at Penn State. After completing the assessment, you will be emailed detailed results based on the following categories relative to teaching online:

  • Organization and Time Management
  • Communicating Online
  • Teaching and Online Experience
  • Technical Skills

For some tips and advice about teaching online, view the 4-minute video titled “8 Lessons Learned from Teaching Online” and read the articles below written by experienced online educators.


Learn More

Traits of the Successful Online Learner

Top 10 Rules for Developing your First Online Course

Mapping Success: Essential Elements of an Effective Online Learning Experience

Who to contact?

For more information about teaching online, contact Terri Johnson.

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