With the transition to Canvas, the IDEAS Team is now offering a self-guided Introduction to Online Teaching 3-Part Course Series. These courses guide instructors in designing accessible, effectives courses and the basics of teaching an inclusive, engaging online course. There are currently 3 courses, which we highly recommend are taken sequentially: 

  1. Online Course Structure and Design
  2. Assessment in Online Learning
  3. Engagement in Online Learning

UMass Amherst instructors can read more about each course below, self-enroll, and get started right away! Participants can expect to spend about 2 hours per self-guided course (which can be stopped and restarted multiple times). They will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion.


Online Course Structure & Design module preview

Online Course Structure and Design is the first in the series. In this 2-hour course, you will learn the principles and best practices for creating an effective online course design. Quality course design promotes inclusivity and enhances the overall learning experience. You will learn to: apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to inclusive online course design; review, create and/or develop an equity-minded syllabus; and develop an accessible and inclusive course structure and layout within Canvas.

Assessment in Online Learning module preview

Assessment in Online Learning is the second course in the series. In this 2-hour course, you will learn to create and develop accessible and inclusive assessments within Canvas. For instructors accustomed to teaching in-person, modifying or adapting assessments for the online learning context where physical presence is absent or limited can be challenging. This course will equip you with the tools and knowledge to design online evaluations that cater to the diverse needs of all learners and, at the same time, ensure a fair and comprehensive learning experience.

Engagement in Online Learning module preview

Engagement in Online Courses is the third course in the series. In this 2-hour course, you will learn the principles and best practices for creating accessible and interactive learning materials and activities in your online courses. You will be able to discuss some approaches and strategies to increase engagement in online learning; align learning outcomes, assessments, materials, and activities; and utilize Canvas tools to create accessible and inclusive learning activities.