Teaching Online at UTEP
Academic departments select and appoint faculty to teach online classes regardless of whether the classes are offered for traditional or for UTEP Connect programs. Faculty may be appointed to teach courses that run a full semester or a shorter part-of-term course. Faculty teaching any online class are expected to adhere to all UTEP policies regarding instruction.
UTEP requires online instructors to exhibit mastery of the online environment and the Blackboard LMS. Instructors are to review and learn the key features and tools within Blackboard and maintain mastery of both subject matter and instructional methods.
In order to effectively teach and manage an online course, instructors will:
- Attain skills needed to modify lessons, facilitate discussions, grade assignments, and make technical accommodations for students registered with The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
- Become proficient in the selection and use of a variety of online instructional tools, including synchronous and asynchronous communication methods
- Be trained how to revise course documents to keep them up-to-date and accurate during course design and course delivery
There are several misconceptions regarding online teaching. Here are just a few:
- Online instruction takes less time because instructors do not have to physically be in a classroom
- There will be little class participation
- PowerPoints, discussion boards, and recorded lectures are sufficient course materials
Online Teaching Requirements
For accreditation purposes, faculty must be credentialed to teach a course. Faculty credentialing is initiated by the academic department in which the instructor will teach. The instructor is required to submit a CV and all post-secondary transcripts. The following items are also required before teaching online at UTEP:
- Teaching Online Academy (TOA)
- Course Approval by Department
- Completed and approved Online Course Development Proposal
- Completed and signed
JointCreation Ownership Agreement
Once the above requirements have been met, instructors may begin course development with the assistance of an assigned Instructional Designer from the Center for Instructional Design (CID).
Course Development Process
Preparing to teach an online course for the first time includes three significant steps:
- Instructional Design Foundation
- Course Development
- Quality Control
CID's instructional design team work jointly with the Subject Matter Expert (faculty member) to successfully design and develop a course to be offered in a 100% online environment. The development timeline consists of approximately four months, starting with the Online Course Development Proposal, to the development of course content, and ends with
An instructional designer’s role in the development of a course is to assist with course design using best practices for online delivery and to guide faculty on how to use the tools provided within Blackboard.
Faculty members developing course content will provide course material including lessons, activities, and assessments. The instructional designer assigned to the course will assist in the process of addressing student engagement, instructor presence, accessibility and ADA standards, and copyright compliance.
In subsequent semesters, the instructional designer is available to assist with minor updates to the course and may assist with transferring content over from the previous semester.
All course development should be complete two weeks prior to the semester start to allow time for quality and technical reviews.
Once assigned an Instructional Designer, their role in the development of the course is to assist with course design and layout using best practices for online delivery and to assist with the tools provided within Blackboard.
As the subject matter expert, the instructor provides the content, ie. lessons, assessments, activities. The Instructional Designer will work with the instructor to find ways to make content more engaging for students, as well as, make sure the course materials meet both standards of copyright and ADA compliance.
In subsequent semesters, the assigned designer may assist with minor updates to the course. If needed, the designer will help transfer over content from the previous semester to the current course shell.
All course development should be complete at least two weeks before the semester starts to leave enough time for a quality review (for newly developed content) and technical review.
Once course development is complete, it will undergo two forms of quality review.
- Course Map Template
- Course Syllabus Example - Sample syllabus with detailed explanations in the margins. This syllabus is modeled using Rhetoric and Composition material, as well as required University policy. Please use this as a guide when creating online syllabi. Customize the content and simply delete the comments in margin prior to use.
- Course Calendar Template - Sample calendar to be used as a template for the class schedule of assignments and related events. This is a stand-alone document and should not be added to the class syllabus (for increased usability and accessibility). Faculty
areencouraged to schedule repeated assignments or assessments (like weekly discussion boards and quizzes) on the same day and time for consistency and reliability.
Professional Development for Faculty
Training and Workshops
CID offers faculty many opportunities for training throughout each semester. The complete list of available workshops can be found on the Workshops page.
Self-Paced Blackboard Training
This course is focused on teaching instructors how to navigate a Blackboard course including: creating assignments and assessments, building communication, and managing students and the grade book. This Blackboard course is self-paced and can be completed at any time; however, it is best to complete this course prior to attempting the TOA. The self-paced training is divided into 4 modules: Navigating Your Blackboard Course, Building Communication and Social Presence, Student Assessment and Engagement Activities, and Student Management and Grading. To register for this course, contact Technology Support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.