Teaching Online

Highlights of this section include: scholarly research, technical articles, evaluation reports and policy documents. Browse through these recommended readings to gain a better understanding of the importance and attention given to distance, online or blended education in the literature.

Should you choose to go beyond the essential readings and investigate further themes in distance and online education, additional links to publications, organizations, institutes and governmental units are provided below.



Teaching Remotely


Sometimes there are events that cause disruption to our ability to teach classes face to face. Regardless of the reason, there are tools an instructor can take advantage of to continue their course with minimal interruption. Online instruction is a great way to bridge the gap until you and your students are able to return to the classroom. We must also remember that there is a distinct difference between teaching online as the chosen mode and teaching online as a response to an emergency, such as COVID-19. To get an idea of these differences please read the following articles.

Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes by Brian J. Beatty >>

Learning and Applied Innovation - Teaching Remotely Trainings >>

Teaching Online & Teaching Remotely Classroom Resources >>

The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning >>

Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes >>

First Day Teaching HyFlex at NDSU Checklist >>


Compared to traditional face-to-face classes, online classes involve core differences in structure, engagement, and assessment. The following articles discuss creative approaches to these challenges.

Effective Teaching Online. Inside Higher Ed. Four authors of books about online course development offer guidelines for engaging learners in distance education courses.

Teaching Remotely. University of Washington. Information, guidance, advice, ideas, and resources. 

What Is Course Alignment?Educational Technology. How Can We Align Learning Objectives, Instructional Strategies, and Assessments? 

Online Engagement. Wiley Education Services. 5 Ways Online Instructors Can Increase Community Engagement.

Engagement Strategies for Online Discussion Forums.Wiley Education Services. 9 Student Engagement Strategies for Online Discussion Forums. 

Online Discussions. Educause. 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions.

Discussion Boards: Valuable? Overused? Discuss. Inside Higher Ed. Innovative approaches point to the potential for more meaningful online learning experiences. 

Online Assessment Challenges.Faculty Focus. 7 Assessment Challenges of Moving Your Course Online (and a Dozen+ Solutions). 

Creative Online Assessment.  Wiley Education Services. Creative Methods of Assessment in Online Learning. 


NDSU Teaching Certification Courses

Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL), LAIC, and Blackboard Instructional Design Services teamed up to develop four Faculty Certificate courses including an Exemplar Course Design Rubric. These non-credit, certificate courses have been vetted externally, as well as internally, and are ready for enrollment.

These teaching and learning courses have been designed for asynchronous, self-paced learning. If you are interested in taking the courses as a cohort, that option is also available which provides a valuable learning experience, connecting and interacting with colleagues. Courses will be facilitated by LAIC instructional design staff and faculty volunteers (as available) providing help with questions and feedback, as needed.

NDSU Instructional Design Team

The instructional design team has developed resources to assist with converting a face-to-face class to an online class, their webpage covers the following topics and more. 

  • Equipment needed to teach remotely.
  • Instructions for activating your Blackboard course.
  • Posting key classroom content.
  • Communicating with your class through Blackboard.
  • Assessing your students remotely.
  • How to hold a synchronous (at the same time) class online.

Read about those topics here >>


NDSU Bookstore and Digital Materials

The NDSU Bookstore has announced a partnership with digital course materials provider, VitalSource, and leading publishers, to launch VitalSource Helps, a program that provides access to eBooks to all NDSU students through May 25th. Students may begin accessing these materials today at bookshelf.vitalsource.com


NDSU Libraries

Publishers Offer Free Access for Remote Teaching and Learning

Publishers and other information providers have responded in full force to support remote teaching and learning needs. Find academic and research content that has temporarily been made available for free. 

More information >>


Resources from Other Universities

For more strategies and resources, consider reviewing information available on these university Office of Teaching and Learning websites. Please note, not all resources listed are used at NDSU. Universities with good remote learning resources include: University of California Berkley, Rice University Information Technology, Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning and Harvard's teach remotely website.

Association of Colleges and University Educators (ACUE)  - The ACUE organization has an excellent set of videos, online webinars, and an online teaching tool kit to assist faculty with their online classes. Topics include: maintaining your online presence, recording effective microlectures, planning effective online discussions, how to organize your class, and so many more.  

Learning to Teach Online. Free professional development resource by the University of New South Wales. Includes videos for Context, Planning and Teaching (Why is online teaching important? Learning management system or the open web? Managing your time when teaching online, planning your online class, Engaging and motivating students, Conducting effective online discussions, Considerations for choosng technology for teaching, Tengrating online resources into your teaching, and Online teamwork and collboration) and sixteen Case Studies.

Foundations for Excellence in Teaching Online. Arizona State University. Free, self-paced, online course focused on technologies and pedagogy to enhance online learning. 

Pivoting to Online Teaching: Research and Practitioner Perspectives. University of Texas at Arlington. Free, self-paced online course. Explores research-infolrmed, effective practices for online teaching and learning, providing guidance on how to pivot existing courses online while enhancing student success and engagement.

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast. Faculty Development for Professors. Explores the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning. Includes a section for Digital Pedagogy. 

Online Course Design Guide. Digital Learning Toolkit. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Topics include Pre-Design, Design and Development, Facilitation, and Evaluation. Also includes a page of resources for animation, image editing, and other useful tools.

Hybrid instruction toolkit. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Meant to aid in the identifcation, practice, and implementation of research-based active learning approaches. Includes information and tools in three categories: Design (adapted from Creating Significant Learning Experiences by L. Dee Fink), Activities (adapted from Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross and Collaborative Learning Techniques by Barkley et al.), and Strategies (adapted from Small Teaching by James Lang).

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy. Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Iowa State University. Explores the model and vocabulary of Bloom's Taxonomy, and includes links to helpful resources.

Developing Student Learning Outcome Statements. Georgia Tech. Succinct information and tools for understanding and writing measurable learning outcomes.

Designing an Online Course. The Center for Teaching and Learning. Mesa Community College. Simple presentation of effective design practices.

Create Discussion Rubrics. Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. University of Central Florida. Desription, scholarly references, and links to example rubrics.

Online Assessment. Penn State University. Online assessment methods which serve as appropriate measures of cognitive levels in Bloom's Taxonomy. Presentation is divided into formative and summative methods.

Designing Assessments. Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Key information for determining how and when students have reached course learning outcomes. This is part of a larger page on Course Development, which has other helpful sections.

More resources:

Scholarly Research Articles

Annetta, L., & Shymansky, J.A. (2008). A comparison of rural elementary school teacher attitudes toward three modes of distance education for science professional development.  Journal of Science Teacher Education, 19(3), 255-267. 

Artino, A.R. (2010). Online or face-to-face learning? Exploring the personal factors that predict students' choice of instructional format.  The Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 272-276.

Bernard, R.M., Abrami, P.C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., Wallet, P.A., Fiset, M., & Huang, B. (2004). How does distance education compare with classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature.  Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 379-439.

Bolliger, D.U., & Wasilik, O. (2009). Factors influencing faculty satisfaction with online teaching and learning in higher education.  Distance Education, 30(1), 103-116.

Bond, M., & Bedenlier, S. (2019). Facilitating student engagement through educational technology: towards a conceptual framework. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2019(1), 1–14. 

Bond, M., Buntins, K., Bedenlier, S., Zawacki-Richter, O., and Kerres, M. (2020) Mapping research in student engagement and educational technology in higher education: a systematic evidence map. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 17:2.

Conrad, D. (2005). Building and maintaining community in cohort-based online learning.  Journal of Distance Education, 20(1), 1-20.

Husson, W.J., & Waterman, E.K. (2002). Quality measures in distance learning.  Higher Education in Europe, 27(3), 253-260.

Kebritchi, M., Lipschuetz, A., and Santiague, L. (2017) Issues and Challenges for Teaching Successful Online Courses in Higher Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Technology Systems. 46:4-29.

Mandernach, B.J., Donnelli, E., Dailey, A., & Schulte, M. (2005). A faculty evaluation model for online instructors: Mentoring and evaluation in the online classroom.  Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 8(3).

Martin, F. & Bolliger, D.U. (2018). Engagement matters: Student perceptions on the importance of engagement strategies in the online learning environment. Online Learning 22(1), 205- 222.

Martin, F., Ritzhaupt, A., Kumar, S., and Budhrani, K. (2019) Award-winning faculty online teaching practices: Course design, assessment and evaluation, and facilitation. The Internet and Higher Education. 42:34-43.

McGorry, S.Y. (2003). Measuring quality in online programs.  The Internet and Higher Education, 6(2), 159-177.

Picciano, A. G. (2017). Theories and frameworks for online education: Seeking an integrated model. Online Learning, 21(3), 166–190.

Rapanta, C., Botturi, L., Goodyear, P., Guàrdia, L., & Koole, M. (2020). Online university teaching during and after the covid-19 crisis: refocusing teacher presence and learning activity. Postdigital Science and Education, 2(3), 923–945. 

Reich, J. & Ruiperez-Valiente, J.A. (2019). The MOOC Pivot: What happened to disruptive transformation of education?  Science, 363(6423), 130-131. 

Rovai, A.P., & Downey, J.R. (2010). Why some distance education programs fail while others succeed in a global environment.  The Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 141-147. 

Rubin, B., Fernandes, R., Avgerinou, M.D., & Moore, J. (2011). The effect of learning management systems on student and faculty outcomes.  The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1/2), 82-83. 

Savery, J.R. (2005). BE VOCAL: Characteristics of successful online instructors.  Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 4(2), 141-152.

Schrire, S. (2004). Interaction and cognition in asynchronous computer conferencing.  Instructional Science, 32(6), 475-502.

Simonson, M., Scholsser, C., & Orellana, A. (2011). Distance education research: A review of the literature.  Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 23(2/3), 124-142. 

Sun, A. and Chen, X. (2016). Online education and its effective practice: A research review. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 15, 157-190. 

Swan, K., Matthews, D., Bogle, L., Boles, E., & Day, S. (2011). Linking online course design and implementation to learning outcomes: A design experiment.  The Internet and Higher Education.

Van de Vord, R. (2010). Distance students and online research: Promoting information literacy through media literacy.  The Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 170-175.

Villar, L.M., & Alegre, O.M. (2008). Measuring faculty learning in curriculum and teaching competence online courses.  Interactive Learning Environments, 16(2), 169-181. 

Woods, R., Baker, J.D., & Hopper, D. (2004). Hybrid structures: Faculty use and perception of web-based courseware as a supplement to face-to-face instruction.  The Internet and Higher Education, 7(4), 281-297. 


Practitioner Articles

Boettcher, J.V. (2011, February). Evidence of learning online: Assessment beyond the paper. Campus Technology.

Demski, J. (2010, July). A better blend. Campus Technology. 

Hai-Jew, S. (2010). An instructional design approach to updating an online course curriculum. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(4). 

Matchett, N.L, & Main, C. (2010). Faculty collaboration at a distance: Using online peer review to improve course design. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(3). 

Schaffhauser, D. (2010, September). Getting faculty buy-in for the LMS. Campus Technology.


Evaluation and Technical Reports

Venable, M.A. (2021). Annual Report of Online Education Trends. BestColleges. Includes relevant Covid data. 

Allen, I.E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. Retrieved from The Sloan Consortium website.

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., & Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. 

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M, & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development website.

Parsad, B., & Lewis, L. (2008). Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006–07 (NCES 2009–044). Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences website.

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