Online Learning

Online learning is a growing trend in higher education. In 2016 in the United States alone, 31% of university-level students now take at least one online course, which represents an increase of 5.6% from the previous year (Seaman, Allen, & Seaman, 2016). There are several reasons for this increase, including cost-savings, ease of evidence-gathering, emerging technologies, and student demand (Miller, 2014). A major reason, however, for designing and facilitating online courses is their demonstrated efficacy: according to a meta-analysis conducted by U.S. Department of Education (2011), students performed better in online courses than in face-to-face courses and performed best in blended courses. For our own students, then, we can capitalize on these better student outcomes to maximize our students’ success both inside and outside of the classroom.

As part of a cross-departmental initiative, the Teaching Support team in CTRL and E-Learning Support in the University Library work towards equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to teach online.

This summer, CTRL and E-Learning Support are providing two different sessions for the Online Instructor Course: the first session is from May 11 – June 14, and the second session is tentatively scheduled for July 6 – August 9.

The course is offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Workshops and Courses We Offer About Online Teaching

To teach conventional online or hybrid classes at AU, we highly recommend that faculty successfully complete the CTRL course. Specialized programs (such as the Washington College of Law and the PMBA Program) and vendor-partnered degrees receive separate trainings.

We currently offer two different trainings:

  • Online Course Design Intensive

    If you are teaching in the fall and want more information on how to create a well-designed online course, we encourage you to participate in CTRL and E-Learning Support’s Online Teaching Intensive.

    This intensive, two-day workshop is a distilled version of the full Online Instructor Course. It will help you craft a course that encourages your students to thrive in the online environment by examining your own course through the lens of evidence-based practices. The facilitators will work with you on the “how” and the “why” of online learning, and you as the subject matter expert will focus on the content of the course.

    The course is synchronous and will meet virtually. Due to the intensive nature of this two-day workshop, you will need to commit at least 6 hours a day to completing the work. All work completed will prepare you for your summer online course.

    First Session:
    May 5: 9am -11am | 2pm – 4pm

    May 6: 9am – 11am | 2pm – 4pm

    Tentatively Scheduled Second Session:
    July 15: 9am -11am | 2pm – 4pm

    July 16: 9am -11am | 2pm – 4pm

    For more information, or if you have any questions about this course, please contact CTRL.

  • Online Instructor Course

    The Introductory course builds a foundation for online content delivery. This course is for faculty who have not yet taught an online or hybrid course – but intend to in the near future. This five-week course focuses on pedagogy, syllabi, course design, and effective use of educational technology. A certificate as proof of participation will be distributed upon successful completion of the course.


Professors Are Certified to Teach Online

Participant Testimonials

You were a great team and I’m genuinely looking forward to teaching this course online and continuing to develop my course. I’ve got a lot to learn but you’ve gotten me off the ground with it and I’m thankful!

Faculty ParticipantFall 2018 Introductory Course

This class is absolutely outstanding. I learned so much and I’m actually a bit sad the class is over. Thank you for a wonderful experience that I will think back on often as I develop my first online or hybrid course.

Faculty ParticipantSpring 2017 Introductory Course

I was just about to start my new online course and had been a year since I took the original online training course… I appreciated the opportunity t brush up on some online tools and it helped with my confidence starting the new course.

Faculty ParticipantMay 2016 Just-in-Time Course

Having done previous trainings, I enjoyed returning to this space where instructors (who are truly fabulous!) interacted with many of us who already have experience in working with a range of web tools for our content delivery. Being with colleagues who teach very different courses and varied sizes of classroom audiences made for interesting conversations across the board.

Faculty ParticipantWinter 2016 Advanced Training Course


Miller, M. D. (2014). Minds online: Teaching effectively with technology. Cambridge, MA:         Harvard University Press.
Seaman, J. E., Allen, I. E., and Seaman, J. (2016). Grade increase: Tracking distance education in the United States. Wellesley, MA: Babson Survey Research Group.
U.S. Department of Education (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online   learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C.