Online Education Best Practices

In response to the changing COVID-19 situation, the university is preparing technology resources so faculty members and instructors have the ability to transition their courses online. The Cockrell School has compiled the following resources and tools to help course instructors prepare for this transition.

7 Steps for Building a High-Quality Class Online

Determine What Kind of Course You Are Teaching

The modality of your course will strongly influence the technology, testing, and transformation strategies you employ. Resources have been curated to assist you in transitioning your course to high-quality online teaching and learning.

Plan Your Course and the Transition to Online Teaching and Learning

Once you have determined what primary modality you are teaching, determine your goals for student learning and how you will present content, engage students in your class, and assess student learning.

Design and Build Your Course in Canvas

Once you have your teaching plan, download a Canvas Course template. The UT Canvas support team has developed several templates for developing your courses. They have been designed to create consistency for the student across courses and support best practices for online and hybrid course design.

Familiarize Yourself With the Tools

Make sure you are comfortable using tools like Zoom, Panopto and other applications and technologies for delivering your online courses.

Consider Testing and Assessment

Students enrolled in the semester will no longer have the ability to modify their course grades to credit/no credit. Furthermore, instructors won’t have the ability to develop personal rapport with students before starting online instruction. Because of this abnormal environment, instructors need to be acutely aware that online instruction presents a new set of technical and experiential challenges that need mastery and effective use of technology and software solutions for online testing.

Participate in Classroom/Technology Training and Verification

Even with well designed Canvas courses and assessments, technology failures can disrupt sound pedagogy. If teaching in hybrid technology-enabled classroom instructors must attend training. It is also recommended they schedule a time to test their own devices and their teaching workflow in the classroom they are assigned. 

Find Instructional and Technology Support

It is recommended that, if you have a TA, assign your TA to Canvas and coordinate roles and responsibilities, in addition to identifying a backup course instructor. Be sure you are also aware of the IT contacts and methods to submit issues and requests for support.

Committee on Online Education Best Practices

Tan Bui
Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Pengyu Ren
Biomedical Engineering

Fernanda Leite
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Dave Allen
Chemical Engineering

Matt Mangum
Cockrell School of Engineering

Eric Roe
Texas Engineering Executive Education

Ramesh Yerabelli
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Derek Haas
Mechanical Engineering

Carlos Torres-Verdin (Chair)
Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering