The Do's and Don't's of Online Course Delivery


Welcome to this module on online course delivery!

Although this module is focused on the delivery of your online course, you will  quickly figure out that design and delivery are quite intertwined, and flexibility, open-mindedness, responsiveness and a certain element of creativity are important in adjusting to delivering your course online within the structures you have created. In short, even the best course design will require adjustments in delivery, and you will have to revise and teach the course at least 2-3 times to really feel like you are getting it right. Think of it this way: Your course design is the footpath; the course delivery is guiding students along the footpath. So learn along the way, respond to students' feedback (and seek it out frequently) and ensure you are present for them at all junctures in the path. You are going to discover that being there with them (known as instructor presence) is the key to fostering community, rapport and deeper dives into critical thinking, because your students will come to trust you and feel safe enough to take risks in their learning.

So, with your

Learner-Centered Teaching Checklist

from the previous module by your side, shift your thinking away from the "what" of course design, to the "how, when and where" of course delivery.  Begin to make connections (and notes on the checklist) regarding how design and delivery intersect, and when, where and how you will be responding to your students' learning needs.

Let's start this module with the "where", because your online environment is not only the place where you teach; as a technology platform, it also influences how you teach. On the next page, I will outline the differences between asynchronous and synchronous environments and factors that influence teaching and learning within them. For online delivery, your "officially" supported and sanctioned options are three:

  • COTROnline Learning Management System (mostly asynchronous delivery)
  • Teams Video Conferencing Tool (fully synchronous delivery)
  • Zoom Video Conferencing Tool (fully synchronous delivery)
Cliff notes and videos will follow later, along with a final self-assessment to help you determine where you need to focus your energies.