Instructor Step-by-Step:

Online Teaching Best Practices

1.       Support – Don’t assume your students are all of equal technology levels

·         CIT HelpDesk (summer sessions): Monday –Friday  8:00am to 4:00pm

o     phone 585-245-5588

o     email

o     submit online request (

·         myCourses Support:  Monday –Thursday  8:00am to 4:00pm

o     submit myCourses request

o    myCourses Self-Help Guides for Faculty and Students:

2.       Plan and post entire course in advance

·         Spend time during the course interacting with students and assessing their work rather than preparing the next unit

·         Easier to make changes, rather than build content during abbreviated summer sessions

3.       Commit to consistent schedules – not 24/7

·         Assignment due dates and times

·         When you will evaluate and grade student work

·         Availability online to answer questions (email and/or live office hours)

·         Use “Ask a Question” discussion forums to allow students to post and answer questions – share the burden

4.       Provide clear organization/navigation to avoid confusion and additional work

·         Provide an introduction page that includes a course overview, time expectations, technical requirements and where to obtain support

·         Consider an introductory folder containing samples of technology that will be used and an “Icebreaker” assignment as an introductory means and a technology compatibility test

·         Content should be delivered in folders by week, chapters or modules

·         Content within folders should be categorized and consistent to enhance focus and flow

·         Add dates on content – not just due dates on assignments – to keep students on track

·         Customize the course – Research indicates a customized course is more effective

o    Select a theme

o    Utilize custom icons and tokens

o    Eliminate or repurpose tabs and nuggets that won’t be used

o    Diversify assignments and interaction by incorporating digital tools

5.       Avoid scheduling high stakes assessments and assignments over the weekend

·         Include business hours in the assessment or assignment availability timeframe in the event technical support is required

·         Turn on “tracking” on content items to assist in troubleshooting issues

·         Refer to content specific “Best Practice” guides for more information




o (student guide)


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