Preparing to Offer Your Course Online

Will you be offering your course online in a future semester or term? Do you need help preparing?  Here is a run down of available resources from instructional technology. Because you are busy, our focus is on providing on-demand help and giving you entry points to get you started in the knowledge domain of online pedagogy.

As experts in your own knowledge domain, you understand what it takes to develop expertise in new areas, so we are giving you the scaffolding and threshold concepts that will jump start your understanding of the theory and practice of online teaching and learning.

  • Top 5 questions to ask as you are making decisions about setting up your course for summer, along with a menu of answers 
  • Generic Online Course Syllabus Template: You can use this template or just copy out useful policy statements (e.g., substantive interaction to take the place of attendance) and descriptions of academic support services for online courses.
  • Community Wisdom: COVID-19 remote instruction workplace group–share your tips and questions and hear from other faculty teaching remotely as you draw on the collective wisdom of our community
  • Just in Time Support Are you stuck?  Send an email to
  • On Demand Technology Help: Search our knowledge base at
  • Instructional Design Consultation: Want to meet with an instructional designer with expertise in online teaching and learning to optimize your course?  One hour of work with an instructional designer could save you hours of development time later.  When you begin working on your course reach out to us by emailing and using the phrase “instructional design” in your email. To ensure instructional designer availability, please sign up by May 1 for summer courses.  After that date, help will be provided as available.  For example, instructional designers can help with:
    • Translating face-to-face learning activities to online versions
    • Setting up assignments and gradebook in Canvas
    • Creating and sharing video lectures
  • Self-paced training: Have a little more time (2-4 hours)?  Instructional Technology has two self-paced courses in Canvas that give you a deeper dive into online course design and best practices for teaching online and model Canvas course shell design.  A little time here can save you a lot of frustration at a later date.  Each course takes 1- 2 hours to go through; then go back later to access the linked resources, as needed.  Request access by emailing
    • Building Online Courses — proven strategies for online learning activities and assessments, student engagement, and course set up in Canvas
    • Teaching Online — proven strategies for getting and keeping students engaged and on track and managing grading and other workload
  • Sample Canvas course shell — no need to stare at a blank course–this design gives you a head start on building your course the way you want. Request access by emailing
  • Course Design Review Standards: A rubric of proven, research-based practices for online course design. This link goes to the first page of the standards broken down by category, with annotations, but you can also download a pdf of all standards. (Advanced knowledge)

Top 5 Questions for Moving Your Course Online

Are you moving a traditional face-to-face course online? This page will lead you through the top 5 questions to think through for a successful transition. You will receive our best recommendations for building your online course based on your responses. Just click on your answer(s) to each question below to see recommendations; you may have more than one answer to each question.

Please contact Instructional Technology at if you would like to learn more about these options.  See also the teaching support resources linked on the Faculty Support webpage.

1. Content Delivery: How will you deliver lectures and other content you would typically cover in class?

For required synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

For optional synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

  • Find out about Using Zoom.  All faculty, staff, and students have Zoom Pro accounts. 
  • Meet at your scheduled class time, as if you were meeting on campus, to avoid creating conflicts with other classes.
  • Use the Canvas-Zoom integration to schedule and record class meetings to conduct class or office hours.
  • To give credit for those who cannot attend a live session, record the session, and share the link in Canvas, and have students post a summary of what was covered.

For pre-recorded lectures, we recommend Panopto.

  • Review this article to get started using Panopto to record lectures.
  • Consider chunking your recorded lectures into short segments of no more than 10 minutes. 

When locating existing resources, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Review what video resources are available
  • Check for accessibility: videos should have captions, text should be formatted with headings, images should include concise descriptive text.
  • Link to videos in Canvas rather than downloading/uploading the video file.

Have other ideas on how to deliver lectures and other course content? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


2. Interaction: How will your students interact with each other?

Suggestions for facilitating student interaction during synchronous live sessions in Zoom:

Suggestions for setting up discussion boards in Canvas to promote student engagement:

  • Enable the setting that requires students to post before viewing other students' posts.
  • Require that each student respond to at least 1 or 2 other students' posts.
  • Model quality discussion posts by participating in your discussion boards.

Suggestions for facilitating group assignments:

  • Have students use GSuite tools like Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Meet.
  • Have students record virtual meetings.
  • Assign a peer evaluation to assess group member participation.

For social annotation, we recommend Hypothesis, Zoom, or Perusall.

This support article reviews the steps for setting up and using a Google chat room.

Have other ideas on how to have students interact online? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


3. Student Assessment: What types of graded assignments will students need to complete?

Papers, projects and other work typically done on paper can all be submitted online through Canvas. Review best practices for creating Canvas Assignments.

Quizzes and exams can be set up in Canvas:

Discussion boards can promote student interaction and engagement:

  • Review the steps to create a discussion in Canvas.
  • Discussions can be graded or ungraded. For graded discussions, consider using a rubric to clearly explain your expectations for each post.
  • Consider requiring that students respond to one or more of their peers to encourage more interaction.

Digital media projects such as videos and websites can enhance the learning experience for students and/or provide engaging alternatives to papers and exams. You can request a consultation on developing digital media projects by contacting

Have other ideas on how to assess your students? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


4. Student Presentations: How will students conduct presentations they would typically deliver in class?

For live student presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded individual student presentations, we recommend Panopto:

For live group presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded group student presentations, we recommend a combination of Panopto and Zoom:

If your class does not require student presentation, move on to Question 5.


5. Technology Requirements: Will your course require any specialized technology?

Great! All St. Edward’s University students have access to Microsoft Office and GSuite applications for free with their student credentials.

Refer to our list of available academic tools to see if St. Edward’s provides access to the software you need. Contact to verify whether students have access to required software off-campus.

TurnItIn is a tool you can use to identify unoriginal content in student submissions. Refer to our support article to learn more about Turnitin, best practices for using it, and how to set up an assignment with it in Canvas.

Honorlock provides options for remote exam proctoring. 

  • Remote exam proctoring presents multiple challenges, including technology requirements, student anxiety, and instructor labor.  Please consider carefully whether the learning outcomes for your course require remote proctoring. 
  • Plan on giving your students a practice quiz or exam to get used to remote proctoring.
  • Review the steps for proctoring an online exam with Honorlock.
  • Honorlock has specific hardware requirements that may pose a challenge for your students (they must have macOS, Windows PC or Chromebook with a webcam, microphone and stable internet; not compatible with tablets or smartphones). Communicate these needs early to make sure all students have what they need.
  • Include language on your syllabus to let students know about proctored online exams and technology requirements.
  • Consider alternative forms of assessment that can promote academic integrity and provide your students more flexibility.

If your class will require students to have this technology (for videoconferencing, recording, or remote proctoring, for example) inform students early on and verify that all students have access.

If your class requires additional specialized hardware and/or software, inform students early on and verify that all students have access.


6. What’s next?

This page is intended to jump start your efforts to develop your online course, but there is much more to learn.  To review resources for developing your expertise in online pedagogy visit our page on Preparing to Offer Your Course Online, which includes a full list of available development options.  See also the teaching support resources linked on the Faculty Support webpage.

  • Google Drive archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.
  • Shared Google Calendar with all events related to teaching support, which you can add to your own calendar. Please subscribe to the Teaching Support Events calendar and RSVP to upcoming events. Note: You must subscribe with your St. Edward’s Gmail account.
  • Teaching Forum Closed Workplace Group for faculty to promote conversation and sharing so we can help each other prepare.

Call for Pilot Projects to Support Learning Spaces & Digital Scholarship; Pre-proposals due 3/20; Final due 4/6

The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) invites proposals for the Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants (TLTR Pilot Project Grants) for projects in 2018-2019. The TLTR will be awarding grants worth up to $5,000 to fund innovative teaching projects that incorporate new technologies and can be used as a model for other faculty. The TLTR especially encourages projects of the following types:

  • Projects that experiment with innovations in learning spaces
  • Projects that create a research-rich curriculum, by engaging students in authentic research enabled by digital tools and methods or leading to digital publication.

Pre-proposals: Due March 20, 2018.
Instructional Technology staff will review pre-proposals to make sure the proposed pilot is feasible or necessary. Instructional Technology may recommend alternate technologies, confirm that the university already possesses proposed technologies, and give advice on the project budget.

Final proposals: Due April 6, 2018.
No final proposals will be reviewed if a pre-proposal was not received and reviewed in advance.

More details, the Grant Proposal Guidelines, and electronic submission are available on the TLTR website at

SXSWEdu Highlight: Bring Personalized Learning in Your Classes

SXSWEdu Conference

The pedagogy of personalization referenced in this post was presented by Alix Horton (New Tech Network-Literacy Coach), Drew Schrader (New Tech Netwotk-Dir Assessment), and Paul Curtis (New Tech Network-Dir of Platform Dev) in the summit session of SXSWEdu 2017.


What is Personalized Learning?

It entails school culture, pedagogy, available resources and all that might influence the shape of the learning environment. In the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan: Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education (NETP) and the 2017 NETP Update, both define personalized learning as the following:

“Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are made available that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests and often self-initiated.”

Personalized learning usually leverages digital tools and applications to customize learning for each individual and ensure students can close the skill gaps, achieve mastery, or gain advanced knowledge in the concepts taught. Personalized learning provides instruction that is meaningful and contextualized for the students, and consists of the following (SXSWEdu 2017):

  • The pace of learning is adjusted and self-paced.
  • Learning objectives, approaches, and content are optimized for each learner.
  • Learning is motivated and driven by learner interests.
  • Learners are given choice in what, how, when, and where they learn.
  • Learning is often supported by technology.

To allow true personalized learning, faculty utilize technology to make it easier to transform courses that support individualized learning. In this post are some strategies in support of personalized learning. Continue reading

Experiments in Teaching Recap

Experiments in TeachingOn Wednesday, February 22, the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday Library hosted Experiments in Teaching, a celebration of pedagogical experiments on campus. At this event, sixteen St. Edward’s faculty members, representing all five schools, presented a series of two-minute “lightning talks” about innovative teaching techniques or projects they have implemented in their classes. The lightning talk format allowed each presenter just enough time to tease the audience with essential information about their work – including a description of their teaching experiment and their goals for taking this approach – and gave the audience exposure to a wide variety of teaching models in use at the university. Presenters and attendees then had the opportunity to mingle during the reception to ask follow-up questions and engage in deeper discussion. Continue reading

Proposal Planning Workshop, Tuesday, February 21, 4-5 pm, Premont 116

Need help preparing a proposal for the Innovation Fellowship or the Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants? Not sure if your idea fits the CFPs? This hour-long workshop will review successful proposal strategies, as well as pitfalls in proposal preparation. Participants should come with ideas and will leave with a proposal outline and/or rough draft.

Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants

Innovation Fellowship

Deadline Extended: Proposals for 2016-2017 Innovation Fellowships and TLTR Pilots due February 8, 2016

digital_learning_newThe deadline has been extended for Innovation Fellowships and TLTR Pilots (aka Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants).

CFPs are available online for both the 2016-2017 Innovation Fellowships and the 2016 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants. Proposals for each are due Monday, February 8, 2016. There is an abbreviated TLTR form for those submitting combined proposals.

These opportunities are open to both tenure-track and non-tenure-track (including adjunct) faculty. You may apply for one or both of these opportunities, even if you have already applied for and received a Presidential Excellence Award for the summer of 2016.

More Information is available online:


Faculty Development Opportunity: Innovation Fellowships 2016-17

The Office of Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Munday Library, and the Office of Instructional Technology of St. Edward’s University invite proposals from faculty for the 2016-17 Innovation Fellowship, Global Innovation Fellowship, and Diversity Innovation Fellowship.

These fellowships will support faculty who need time, resources, and expertise to include pedagogical experimentation in their courses by providing a $1200 stipend, the opportunity to participate in the Summer 2016 Innovation Institute, May 16-27, 2016, and the opportunity to be part of a community of faculty fellows focused on pedagogical innovation.

We encourage applications that focus on a wide variety of pedagogical innovations and experimentation. This year there are two special types of innovation fellowships.  These fellows will engage with colleagues advocating in these areas on campus.  They are:

  • Digital-Learning-Styles-Present-A-Challenge-For-Online-EducatorsGlobal Innovation Fellows: These fellows will focus on global learning by increasing opportunities for students to make global connections in the classroom or as part of a study abroad experience.
  • Diversity Innovation Fellows: These fellows will focus on increasing opportunities for students to engage with questions of diversity, particularly with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or sexuality, through course materials, assignments, and/or activities.

We also particularly encourage applications with a focus on:

  • Community-Based and Service Learning: Increasing opportunities for community-based or service learning and engagement;
  • Social Justice: Increasing opportunities for students to develop in ethical reasoning or engage with social justice problems as a means to clarifying their personal values, recognizing their responsibility to the world community, and/or acting to seek justice and peace;digital_learning_new
  • Digital Learning: Incorporating educational technologies that transform learning and prepare graduates to collaborate, communicate, create, and compete in the cloud for their community and career;
  • Use of Global Digital Classroom (GDC):       Using the GDC to connect students with scholars and/or students around the world, whether through guest lectures, collaborative assignments, and/or fully synchronized class(es);
  • High-Impact Practices: Incorporating high-impact practices to achieve university essential learning outcomes;
  • Authentic Student Research: Creating a research-rich curriculum, especially by embedding authentic research into courses;
  • Other strategies for improving student learning and success that utilize new or evidence-based teaching practices and require significant course redesign.

Proposals are due Monday, February 1, 2016.  For more information about the fellowship, the institute, and detailed instructions for applying, please visit:

If you have any questions about the Innovation Fellowship or would like to discuss possible projects, please contact: