University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Next Sessions of TEO:

Jan 31-Feb 27, 2017
May 23-Jun 19, 2017
» Send email to CTL

The Teaching Effectively Online program (TEO) explores the experience of teaching and learning in the online environment, presents research-based best practices for designing online courses, and prepares faculty to use a variety of tools for communication, content delivery, and assessment.

Faculty participate as students in a 100% online course—a change in perspective that is regularly described as “game changing.” During the four-week program, there is ample time to discuss key components of quality course design and discover how to create engaging course materials. Participants have the opportunity to explore online courses from different disciplines and, since the course is taught in Blackboard, to learn by doing.

If you need to ramp up your Blackboard skills, face-to-face support is available.

Wondering what you'll do in the course?
» See below.

Program Goals and Objectives (from the Syllabus):


  1. Develop an understanding of best practices for designing and teaching an online course.
  2. Reflect upon individual teaching styles and on how they can be applied to the online environment.
  3. Reflect on the experience of being an online student.
  4. Increase familiarity with Blackboard.


Faculty participants will:

  1. Develop an understanding of best practices for designing and teaching an online course:
    • Articulate and reflect how your individual teaching styles can be applied to online teaching.
    • Recognize the importance of thoughtfully designed introductory course elements (i.e., welcome video, getting started page, icebreakers) as strategies for building teaching & social presence, online community and student satisfaction.
    • Analyze the Getting Started, Syllabus and course content of an online course using the CTL Online Course Design Guidelines.
    • Explain legal responsibilities regarding copyright in an online course.
    • Understand the connection of learning theory to online course design.
    • Identify strategies that convey a strong teaching presence.
  2. Articulate the overall purpose of your course by writing a course mission statement.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the principles of course alignment by:
    • Drafting at least one student-centered and measurable course level learning objective.
    • Creating a course-level or module-level diagram/chart that communicates the alignment between learning objectives, topics, and activities/assessment.
  4. Explore ways to use engaging content in your course that is aligned with your course plan:
    • Find existing engaging content or find an application that could be used to create engaging content.
    • Present or create an organized, clear and engaging piece of content and describe how it contributes to student learning.
  5. Discuss course design strategies that encourage academic integrity.
  6. Reflect on your personal learning goal(s) and self-assess your progress toward meeting that goal as it relates to TEO.
  7. Discuss teaching strategies that contribute to student motivation.
  8. Participate in asynchronous and synchronous discussions and identify the best uses for each.
  9. Increase familiarity with Blackboard tools.
What to Expect:

Participants can expect to spend 5 - 7 hours per week completing reading and assignments.

This is a simplified version of the TEO schedule:

Week 1:
Introduce yourself
Readings and video
Take online course field trips
Write discussion post and respond to peers

Week 2:
Readings and video
Work on Course Planning Document
Academic honesty discussion - write discussion post and respond to peers
Field trip observations & Insights - write discussion post and respond to peers

Week 3:
Readings and video
Formative Evaluation
Content field trip
Create an engaging piece of course content
Journal: Personal learning goal self-assessment
Copyright self-assessment quiz
Optional: participate in a live synchronous session

Week 4:
Readings and video
TEC-Variety principle: Write discussion post and respond to peers
Assignment: Reflection on Facilitating Discussion

Questions about the program can be sent to Wendy Verrei-Berenback, CTL Assistant Director,

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