Best Practices for Online Teaching

Best Practices for Online Teaching

Getting started

ODEE provides a printable checklist of best practices for online teaching that instructors can use as a starting point for online teaching. More information and resources for each item can be found in the web materials below.


What's different about teaching online?


What's the SameWhat's Different
  • Rigor and expectations for the amount of time and effort required of students
  • week-by-week pace of teaching and learning, where students and instructors work and interact at regular intervals
  • The applicability of evidence-based teaching practices and frameworks like backward design
  • Ways of considering or estimating credit hours and seat time 
  • Expectations from students about flexibility
  • Need for expectations, instructions, and check-ins with students to be preplanned and made very clear in Carmen
  • Amount of time spent in the work of design and building the course before it's taught
  • Specific assignment approaches and teaching strategies that work well in different contexts

Teaching aonline course involves some considerations in a few areas: the format and administrative components of the course, the technology (including CarmenCanvas), and the choice of teaching methods that would be effective online.

Web resources

Click the buttons below to see the best practices in each category, access key resources, and explore relevant scholarly literature or university policies.

Administrative and curricular course considerations

This category includes university policies and other course characteristics such as accreditation standards for distance courses, student attendance tracking for federal financial aid, and various aspects of academic integrity.

Design and setup of course technology platforms

These are items relating to the mechanics of online courses — specifically the characteristics of the CarmenCanvas course site and other instructional technologies that affect students' ability to access and navigate the course successfully.

Course experiences, assignments and teaching activities

These four areas of online course instruction have the greatest effect on student learning, according to current scholarship. We provide suggestions of strategies for success in each area — but these are not meant to be comprehensive.