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)

5 Things to Know for the Start of the Semester


1. Photo Rosters & More on Faculty/Advisor Tab in myHilltop

New for the Fall 2014 semester, Faculty and Advisors now have a customized page in myHilltop.

From this page, you can access course information, class lists with photos, grade submission, and more for each of your classes each semester. You can find Instructional Technology events and our blog posts here also!

More information about the Faculty/Advisor tab

2. Using Terms to Group Courses by Semester in Blackboard

Tired of searching through the long list of courses in the My Courses module in Blackboard?

You can now use terms in Blackboard to make it easier to find your classes by organizing them by semester. To set up the Terms, click on the gear icon to the left of My Courses.
Course Module with arrow pointing at gear icon in right corner

In the Terms section, click on the box next to “Group by Term” and then select the terms you wish to display.
Checkbox next to term

Click on Submit.  Course terms will now appear in the My Courses list.
Terms listed in separate lines

Travis county Almanac3. Creating a Website/Blog for Yourself, Your Course, Your Students Using CampusPress

Would you like to create a personal, course or research website or start your own blog? All St. Edward’s faculty, staff and students can easily create their own website or blog via Campus Press (formerly EduBlogs) powered by WordPress. You can also create multi-author course blogs where each student is a contributor. You can log in at to get started. If you’d like assistance contact us at

4. One Page for All Student Academic Support Services

Students can now see all the academic support services and solutions available to them on one page. From Advising to the Writing Center all of the options are listed on the Student Academic Support Services Page.  From this page students can sign up for one-on-one appointments with Instructional Technology Training staff, view video tutorials or sign up for workshops or the Innovation Creation Lounge.

5. Making Your Blackboard Courses Available to Students

All courses, instructors and student enrollments are loaded automatically into Blackboard. However, all classes are unavailable to students by default. If you are using Blackboard for your course, please make your course available to students.

• In the Control Panel, select Customization and then Properties.

• In the Set Availability section choose yes to make the course available, then click Submit.

Visit the Innovation Creation Lounge (LIBR 248)

Do your students need help using Photoshop, InDesign, HTML or Excel to complete course projects?  Students can get help at the Innovation Creation Lounge with these applications and many more. A dedicated trainer will be available to answer questions and offer assistance in Library room 248 on Mondays from 10am-Noon and Fridays from 1pm-3pm.

Please let your students know about this opportunity to receive help outside of class. Students can bring their own device (BYOD) or use the dedicated iMac available with all the Adobe and Microsoft software installed. Students don’t need an appointment and can just drop by any time during those hours for help. For questions about the Innovation Creation Lounge or any training support questions, please