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Teaching Online Resources


At Villanova, our educational experience is rooted in passionate, collaborative pursuit of knowledge and service to others. Villanova University is committed to quality distance education and supporting students' satisfactory and successful online learning experience. 

Teaching online can be daunting to start with, but it will make you a better teacher in any setting and benefit your future teaching because of the explicitness of online instructions and efforts to build learning community for online teaching. 

1. Communicate your course modality to students early. Reach out to inform students how may feel apprehensive about how your courses will be conducted. Communicate (syllabus, announcements) how the course has been structured and how student participation has been organized based on the teaching modality. 

2. Seek to foster community among your learners. Achieving a balance between various types of activities asynchronously and synchronously within your core class structure will help ensure that students have varied opportunities for engaged learning, interaction, and reflection to support their learning experience. VITAL and UNIT team members can provide guidance regarding fostering community. Refer to Building Online Community of Inquiry and Building Community in the Zoom Classroom.

3. Select two to three online tools/activities in your course that align with your learning goals and assignments and support engaged student learning and continue to use them throughout the semester.  Students need time and practice to become comfortable/confident using specific online tools.

4. Introduce students to resources for taking online classes (e.g., syllabus, as questions emerge), such as Preparing for Online Classes, Learning Remotely, and How to Contribute to Online Discussion Boards.  Highlight opportunities for academic coaching.  

Consultations and Trainings  

Team members are available via email at to schedule a date/time for a consultation. Consultations will focus on designing learning activities and assessments based on the selected modality in support of student learning. 

UNIT’s Instructional Technologies Division: Team members are available for individual consultation and training. Please email or visit this website for the contact for your college. Individuals can assist with translating your course ideas into the Learning Management System (LMS), building specific activities in the LMS (e.g., assessments) and providing application-specific training. Please note that Blackboard course templates are also available for use as a foundation in building your course – email to have one copied into your course shell.

Training Sessions: We continue to offer helpful programs, including general workshops on teaching online and using online technology as well as workshops on specific topics such as creating and conducting exams in an online environment. We encourage you to attend.

Instructional Resources 

Please find below specific resources to guide your course design, including course design, online community, student engagement, assessment, and accessibility considerations.

  • Converting Face-to-Face Course to Online Teaching (05/01/20): slides & followup materialsrecording
  • Creating Effective Instructional Videos (05/18/20): slides recording
  • Engaging Students Synchronously and Asynchronously (05/20/20): slides & recording
  • Assessing Students’ Learning Online (05/22/20): slides & recording
  • Engaging Students in Hybrid and/or Simulcast Classes (08/06/20): slides & recording
  • Engaging Students via Zoom - Breakout Rooms (09/15/20): recording and slides
  • Engaging Students via Zoom - Screen Sharing, Chat, Polling, Whiteboard, Annotation, and More (09/16/20): slides
  • Creating Effective Online Assessment (09/22/20): recording & slides
  • Academic Integrity and Accessibility Consideration in Assessment (09/23/20): recording & slides
  • Testing Accommodations and Online Exam Proctoring (03/04/21): recording slides
  • Effective Online Assessment (3/10/21): recording slides
  • Embedding Video Components in Your Course (03/25/21): recording slides
  • Engaging Students via VoiceThread(03/30/21): recording slides
  • Online Discussion Boards – A Relic of the Past? (04/07/21): recording slides
  • Purposeful Integration of Guest Speakers into the Course Curriculum with Dr. Jill Gonzalez, RLL (04/09/21): recording

“Help! I’m Moving My Course Online!”-- Practical Advice for New Online Instructors Final Transcript and Video
(The on-demand video with captioning is also now available for viewing through the on-demand seminar recording link; password:  advice238)


Online Learning Consortium (OCL) is one of the leading professional organizations in digital learning, with resources in online teaching research, methodologies and programs to empower educators. With OLC institutional membership, our Villanova faculty and staff(register your free account at OLC website and link your organization to our university) have access to their Quality Scorecard Suite(diverse evaluation tools for online programs, blended programs, instructional practice, course design, etc.), discounted pricing on conferences and workshops, free webinars, peer networking, and research studies.

One of its scorecards, the OSCQR course design rubric is especially designed to help faculty to evaluate the online course design as compared to best practices. Online courses will be reviewed from six areas including Overview and Information, Technology and Tools, Design and Layout, Content and Activities, Interaction, and Assessment and Feedback. You may also refer to for explicit introductions to all rubrics within each area.