Learning Community for Online Course Design and Teaching

Starting summer 2014 and ending spring 2015, participants in the TeachOnline@UW learning community will collaborate with UW-Madison faculty, instructional staff, instructional designers and learning technologists through online and face-to-face sessions focused on designing and teaching fully online courses. 

Learning community participants:
  • Gain pedagogical and technological best practices for designing and teaching fully online courses.
  • Explore a variety of online design and teaching strategies and tools in the role of an online “student.”
  • Draft a high-level map for online modules aligning objectives, assessments, instructional materials, and learning activities.
  • Plan online instructional activities and assessments that foster critical thinking and student collaboration.
  • Share ideas and strategies with a community of peers who have a common goal to provide quality online teaching and learning.
Following is a summary of learning community activities that will take place during the Summer 2014 Getting Started Series and the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Online Course Design and Teaching Series.Complete details and highlights are listed in the "Schedule.


Summer Getting Started Session

Get a jump start on your online course design during the “Getting Started” series that will take place both online and during a day-long, in-person orientation. Participants will explore research-based instructional approaches, online course design best practices, and begin building a map or instructional plan for fully online courses. 

Main activities include:
  • Participation in short online modules May 21-June 3 plus a full-day, in-person orientation on June 4, 2014. 
  • Review of resources over the summer to prepare for fall 2014 sessions. 
  • Optional free registration in Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference.

Fall & Spring Learning Community Meetings

Expanding on the instructional plan started on June 4, the fall and spring online and face-to-face sessions will focus on planning online course modules based on evidence and research-based best practices.

Participants will also gain experience as an online student and share ideas and best practices as a learning community to explore more in-depth course design and teaching strategies for managing and facilitating online courses.

Main activities include:
  • Fall 2014 Semester: Focus on online course design during 1.5 hours in face-to-face meetings every other week in addition to 2-3 hours per week completing online course activities. 
  • Spring 2015 Semester: Focus on online course facilitation and management during 1.5 hours in face-to-face meetings every other week in addition to 2-3 hours per week completing online course activities. 
  • Participation in interviews, a focus group, and surveys to evaluate the learning community experience. 
  • Participants are expected to participate fully in online and in-person sessions and activities offered during summer 2014, fall 2014, and spring 2015. After completion of these activities, participants will receive a certificate of completion and a stipend of up to $4,000 intended for professional development funds paid at the conclusion of the learning community in spring 2015.

Program Sponsors

The TeachOnline@UW Learning Community is funded by an Educational Innovation grant and developed and facilitated by a cross-campus committee with a mission to provide faculty and instructional staff with support to develop and teach online courses. Committee members include instructional staff from the College of Engineering, the Division of Continuing Studies, the Division of Information Technology Academic Technology, L&S Learning Support Services, and UW-Madison Libraries.


For more information or questions, please e-mail TeachOnline@UW Registration.