Wednesday, February 18 | 1:00AM–3:30PM
Session Type: Professional Development

ELI Course | Supporting Excellence in Online Instruction

With the continued growth of online learning has come increased focus on what constitutes best practices in online teaching. The training of online instructors, however, has not kept pace with the demand for excellence in the online environment. The result has been poorly constructed courses, high levels of student attrition from online courses, and continued allegations that online education is simply not as rigorous as its face-to-face counterpart. Furthermore, instructors are often left on their own to find appropriate training or to create their own approach to online teaching based on conversations with colleagues or information they find online, at conferences, or in journals. To add to this problem, faculty development programs are often presented using a "one size fits all" approach, with little regard to whether a faculty member is new to or experienced at teaching online. This course addressed this problem by presenting and allowing participants to explore best practices in online teaching through a phased approach to faculty development, along with suggestions and strategies for the development of an effective training approach, which leads to excellence in online teaching.Faculty cannot be expected to intuitively know how to design and deliver an effective online course. What makes an online instructor successful? How can excellent instructors be trained and developed? How can faculty become their own trainers/developers to help achieve a goal of excellence in online teaching? How can all of this be done in difficult economic times when funds for faculty development are short? These central questions were explored and addressed in this course. NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated above and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators on how to improve and shape their work.

Learning Objectives

During this course, participants:

  • Explored the key elements that define excellence in online teaching.
  • Determined factors involved in readiness to teach online.
  • Defined and analyzed important aspects of faculty training for online teaching.
  • Explored models of effective faculty training for online teaching.
  • Developed a training approach based on the models presented.
  • Considered forms of assessment suitable for evaluating faculty effectiveness in online teaching.
  • Developed a plan for a mentoring program for faculty.
  • Created a training plan for excellence that incorporates self-development, faculty training and mentoring, and institutional support.


  • Rita-Marie Conrad

  • Vickie Cook

    Executive Director, Online Learning, Research and Service, University of Illinois at Springfield
  • Susan Manning