Online Design & eLearning

Faculty Focused

Faculty FAQs

What do I have to do to teach online?
Why do I need to take a course to learn how to teach online?
What is the compensation for teaching online?
What kind of support is there to help me with the technology involved in teaching online?
Do I need special equipment to teach online, and if so, where can I obtain it?
How do I create exams in an online course?
How do I give proctored exams online?

What do I have to do to teach online?

First, speak to your department chair about teaching online. Some departments prefer to restrict non-tenured faculty teaching loads so junior faculty can focus on research projects.

If your chair gives you the go-ahead to teach online, you will need to be endorsed to teach online courses. In order to do this, take the 6-week eLearning Training Course (eTC) offered by our office. There are generally two cohorts per semester. We recommend you complete the eTC a semester before you plan to teach online so you’ll have the skills and time to build a great online course.

Why do I need to take a course to learn how to teach online?

Teaching online requires different skills and methods of delivery from teaching in traditional classrooms. Online course content, including the syllabus, the lessons, engagement with students, and assessments, need to be organized to suit a virtual learning environment. An ideal online class chunks content into asynchronous short lessons driven by specific learning objectives. Lessons typically include video, interactive activities, student engagement and practice, and assessments to track student understanding.  Our team has created a course that demonstrates best practices in online teaching so you can experience online learning the way your students will.

What is the compensation for teaching online?

Faculty who teach online classes as part of their regular teaching load are compensated according to their department’s policies. Faculty who teach online as an overload are compensated the same amount as they would be for teaching a summer session course. Compensation is handled through the Office of Online, Summer, and Winter Sessions.

What kind of support is there to help me with the technology involved in teaching online?

The Faculty Technology Development Center is your source for help with Blackboard and any other technology you will use in your teaching. You will also be assigned a dedicated Instructional Designer from our department who will help you design, build, and maintain your online courses. Both the FTDC and ODeL provide training in instructional technology. In addition, ODeL has several grant opportunities for faculty interested in improving their online teaching skills.

Do I need special equipment to teach online, and if so, where can I obtain it?

Faculty who wish to create original content videos can record them in the J.D. William’s Library’s Studio One, or create them using their own recording equipment such as a laptop webcam, digital camera, or smart phone camera. UNCC has a great list of best practices for educational video.

Faculty who wish to create original content using interactive authoring software can consult their instructional designer for assistance. We use Articulate Storyline 2 for our test out modules in our eLearning Training Course and we use Easygenerator for our Student Attendance Verification Tutorial. The J.D. Williams Library’s plagiarism tutorial was created using GoAnimate. We are always learning new technologies to help you create interesting and effective online classes, and through our Interactivity Grant, we’ve paid for licenses and trained faculty on a variety of authoring tools.

How do I create exams in an online course?

You can create timed tests and exams in Blackboard. Most online exams are asynchronous, meaning students in your class will not take your exam at the same time or even on the same day. Exams that are not proctored should be treated as open-book, take-home exams. Alternatively, you can use different means of assessment in addition to or instead of traditional exams. Our instructional designers can advise you how to create exams suitable for this type of testing environment.

How do I give proctored exams online?

You may use the Distance Education Testing Lab (DETL) in Oxford, the UM regional centers, and ProctorU for proctoring services. To get started, download DETL’s easy-to-follow PDF guidelines for online instructors for details on what needs to be done before and during a semester.