Expectations of Online Teaching

These teaching expectations are based on the Southern Regional Educational Boards Standards for Online Teaching, which were developed by national experts backed by extensive research. These guidelines will help you find success as you step into your virtual classroom.

  1. Before you ever step into a classroom, you need to be not only comfortable and qualified to teach in the discipline of the course but aware of basic teaching strategies as well.

  2. You must be able to work and do basic troubleshooting for all technologies in your online course.

    1. Basic computer skills - create documents, manage files and folders, work with multiple windows, be able to troubleshoot basic computer issues (e.g. clearing cache, using Google to look up common solutions, running updates)

    2. Log into eLC - be able to login to eLC and access the class

    3. Utilization of eLC - add basic course components, use gradebook, understand eLC mail, add links and embed content

    4. Manage grades - Keep grades up-to-date throughout the course

    5. Create course files and folders within eLC

    6. Manage student submissions - Grade and leave feedback using dropbox, quizzes, and discussion tools

    7. Manage multimedia - Be able to create content using the technology of his/her choice and embed the media in eLC

    8. Synchronous and asynchronous communication tools - Email (UGA and eLC), Collaborate

    9. Obtain assistance - understand where and who to contact for assistance at the appropriate time

    10. Level of ability - Online instructors should be able to talk students through basic technology issues in the course (e.g. A student can’t see material because of release conditions, which the professor then explains)

  3. You recognize that learning isn’t just about listening to lectures and regurgitating material, so you will encourage active learning, participation and collaboration in your course.

    1. Builds a relationship with and between learners to create a trusting learning environment

    2. Online instruction is based in goal-oriented, focused, project-based, and inquiry-oriented learning

    3. Promotes group interaction

    4. Facilitates appropriate student interaction

    5. Demonstrates understanding of current research in online pedagogy and utilizes effective techniques (e.g. problem-solving, in-class writing, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation rather than passive lecturing)

  4. You are the online leader of your classroom, and your actions should promote student success through activities such as regular feedback, prompt response to student needs and clear expectations.

    1. Maintains records of all student communication

    2. Effectively communicates high expectations for the course and encourages students to engage with course content and activities.

    3. Provides a detailed syllabus or set of documents that include:

      1. Clearly defined expectations for both teacher and student

      2. Grading criteria

      3. Establishes netiquette guidelines for class interactions

      4. Explains the course organization

      5. Delineates teacher response time expectations (email, feedback, etc.)

      6. Learning outcomes for the course

      7. If the professor is not going to include a detailed steps to completion for each module with estimated times for each activity, the breakout of estimated times for every activity in every module must be included in the syllabus

      8. Follow UGA guidelines, including FERPA, accessibility and academic honesty statements

    4. Establishes contact with students before the course begins and maintains frequent interactions with students throughout the course

    5. Develops an intervention plan for unsuccessful students

    6. Uses student data to monitor student progress

    7. Provides timely feedback

    8. Respects diverse talents and learning preferences, understanding the wide variety of students at UGA, including non-traditional, students with disabilities, military veterans (e.g. understanding that a “no late work” policy may not be the best choice for online students)

  5. You should be able to model learning for your students by guiding them to legal, ethical, safe and healthy behavior related to technology use.

    1. Reiterates the Academic Honesty code for students and ensures each student understands their responsibility in the class

    2. Demonstrates awareness that technology may impact a student’s testing performance and has reasonable accommodations planned for students with disabilities or those who encounter technical difficulties

  6. You should recognize and appreciate online learning from the perspective of a student to help them find success.

    1. Applies experiences as an online student to implement successful online teaching

    2. Uses student experience to anticipate challenges in the online classroom and respond to those concerns

    3. Demonstrates an understanding of an online student’s perspective through a supportive attitude and appropriate responsiveness

  7. You recognize the ability of all students to succeed and respond quickly and proactively to students with special needs in the online classroom.

    1. Modifies activities as appropriate when presented with a student need from the Disability Resource Center

    2. Creates multiple paths to learning objectives (e.g. offering audio files and transcripts in addition to video)

    3. Exhibits the ability to assess student knowledge and instruction in a variety of ways, including informal and formal methods of assessment (which could be demonstrated by a variety of tasks, such as posting timely news items, understanding how to encourage online discussion through probing questions, creating a microlecture to explain a topic when students are struggling)

    4. Demonstrates a knowledge of processes for obtaining services for special needs students (e.g. captioning request process)

    5. Understands and abides the federal regulations governing students with disabilities in the online classroom

    6. Believe that every student regardless of disclosed or declared disability should be able to access and find success in all areas of your course

  8. You must demonstrate creativity in developing and implementing assessment that ensures validity and reliability of the measurement.

    1. Assessments are fair, adequate, and appropriate

    2. Assessments are based in objectives for the course

    3. Assessments are aligned with the objectives, content, and activities in the course

    4. Sufficiently cover the content they are designed to measure

    5. Prove reliable and consistent over time

    6. Demonstrates formative and summative assessments in every module

    7. Assessment data can be used to show validity of teaching and design decisions in the course

  9. You should develop assessments, projects and assignments that meet the learning objectives and goals for your class. These activities and assessments should measure learning progress by measuring student achievement of learning goals and should be adjusted based on student progress.

    1. Regularly reviews all course material

      1. To ensure alignment

      2. To ensure timeliness

      3. To ensure appropriateness given the current state of the academic field

    2. Includes some form of authentic assessment as part of the evaluation process

    3. Provides continuous evaluation and feedback for students, including pre- and post-testing to demonstrate student progress

  10. You must use all of the tools provided by the university to collect and analyze data on student learning in order to modify instructional methods and/or content to help students.

    1. Assesses each student’s background and content knowledge prior to introducing new content

    2. Reviews assessments to determine instructional effectiveness and alters instruction if necessary (e.g. If pre-testing shows that the class already understands a concept, the instructor is able to skip ahead rather than forcing students to relearn established content).

    3. Utilize a mid-course survey to allow students to self-reflect on their own work as well as the effectiveness of instruction

    4. Use student feedback to improve instruction

  11. You must demonstrate frequent and effective strategies that enable both teacher and students to complete self- and pre-assessments.

    1. Employs methods for guiding students to an understanding of their own readiness for course content (e.g. pre-testing, self-assessments)

    2. Understands how data on student success correlates with teaching and course success (e.g. level of participation, mastery of content, completion percentage)

    3. Implements course changes based on student data

Online Teaching Award


Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards for Online Teaching

Recipients of this USG award will be those faculty members who “are strongly committed to quality online teaching and learning, as evidenced by teaching and scholarly activities designed to advance the quality of online teaching and learning.” To be eligible for the Online Award, current full-time members of the teaching faculty and teaching academic staff must teach at least a minimum of 12 credit hours of fully online instruction at one of the USG institutions across the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Fully online instruction for this award is defined as “95% or more of the course must be delivered fully online.” Each institution is invited to submit one nomination for the award and should determine campus nomination procedures.

For more information: http://www.usg.edu/faculty_affairs/awards