For more resources around online teaching and distance learning, visit the Learn Anywhere website

Online teaching requires a different set of pedagogies and skills to teach and engage students at a distance.  The Center offers faculty support and training for teaching online through the Teaching Online Program (TOP). This program is for faculty with limited online teaching experience or who want to learn more about teaching online and is a self-paced program with no due dates. Faculty who teach 100% online or who teach partially online will find this program of value in helping to increase student success. 

Levels of TOP

There are three levels of the program: Basic Level 1, Basic Level 2, and Advanced.  Basic Level 2 has the same content as Basic Level 1 but also includes the opportunity for faculty to simultaneously apply what is being learned to a practice course that can form the basis of an online course to be taught in the future.  

NOTE: one does not have to complete Basic-Level 1 to enroll in Basic-Level 2.

Faculty make the decision if they want to take Basic Level 1 OR Level 2 at the time of enrollment.  Basic Level 1 is for faculty who have less time and want to complete the training without creating a practice course.

Basic Levels 1 and 2

The five modules of the Basic Levels 1 and 2 are: 

  • Teaching in an Online Environment
  • Online Course Organization
  • Teaching Presence and Communicating with Students in Online Learning Environments
  • Building a Community of Online Learners
  • One-on-one consultation with the Center’s instructional Designer

Basic Level 1 takes approximately 4-8 hours to complete with a 20 question readiness quiz at the end with multiple attempts to achieve the 80% needed to pass the course. Basic Level 2 takes approximately 15-20 hours to complete. The benefit of taking Basic Level 2 is that faculty can begin the process of building the essential components of an online course under the guidance and feedback of an instructional designer.  Basic Level 2 may be especially useful for faculty who are in the process of developing an online course for an upcoming semester.  

Faculty who have completed Basic-Level 1 will earn 2 credits towards the Certificate of Teaching Enhancement. Faculty who have completed Basic-Level 2 will earn 3 credits.

*The prerequisite for enrolling in TOP Basic Level 2 is the completion of the Brightspace LE Basics training offered by the MSU eCat team.  For more information and to enroll, go to Faculty Workshops and Learning Opportunities

Advanced-Level Training

The advanced-level TOP training course for more experienced online instructors or those that have completed either of the TOP basic-level courses. This course will cover the following:

  • Presenting content online in engaging ways that fit with how the brain processes and learns new information
  • Creating engaging online learning experiences that use Bloom’s Taxonomy to move students to deeper learning and the development of critical and higher order thinking skills 
  • Faculty who have completed the Advanced-Level course will earn 3 credits towards the Certificate of Teaching Enhancement.

Questions and Enrollment:

For more information or to enroll, contact Ken Silvestri at [email protected] or 406.994.7835.