When preparing to teach an online or hybrid course, there are several steps that must be taken to ensure success for both faculty and students.
First, if the class is being developed or taught for the first time, we strongly recommend that faculty immediately schedule an appointment with an Instructional Designer to receive the specific strategies and recommendations for moving forward. Ideally, this appointment should be scheduled two-three months prior to the semester the course is offered. Faculty that take advantage of this service will be provided with best practices for teaching online, the Southern Regional Education Board's Principles of Good Practice, our "Standards for the Development of Distance Education Courses," our "Standards for Quality Instruction in Distance Education Courses", and our "Standards for Exemplary Distance Education Courses".
Secondly, if this is a class that has been taught in a distance education format for a while, faculty may find value in a course review and evaluation. Upon request, the Instructional Designer enrolls in the respective Blackboard course(s) to review instructional techniques and activities, and provide structured feedback to the faculty. Faculty may also request to review our "Standards for the Development of Distance Education Courses", "Standards for Quality Instruction in Distance Education Courses", and "Standards for Exemplary Distance Education Courses". The SREB's Principles of Good Practice are available by clicking on the Electronic Campus link on the bottom right of the Distance Education home page.
Additional recommendations for teaching online are provided on the Online Courses page. Please note that the individual college or department may have required procedures, so be sure to consult with your department head for permission to offer the course online. You should also consult with your department head regarding listing your course on the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus website. For more information about listing your course with SREB, contact the Office of Educational Technology & Support.
Once you have consulted with the appropriate Distance Education personnel and the course has been approved by your department, college, and appropriate curriculum committee, your department is responsible for entering the course into the master schedule. Be sure to use appropriate section numbers, abbreviations, and codes for the specific distance education format and/or location(s).
Your department should notify our Office that the course has been approved and has been entered into the Master Schedule. If your course is associated with any special programs, such as STEP, please include that information as well.
We strongly recommend that faculty notify students that they will use Blackboard to complete all coursework prior to the first day of class. This is easily accomplished using features built into Blackboard. Students should also be reminded that all Distance Education course formats follow the University's Academic Calendar.