How to Teach Online

Read this if you want to understand more about how to design your course to make better use of educational technology – whether fully online or in blended contexts!

Integrating online technologies into your teaching can be a challenging task, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it effectively for the benefit of both students and yourself.
No one knows your own content and teaching strengths better than you, and the “one size fits all” formula doesn’t always suit everyone. No matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring or your level of experience, we will help you draw on your teaching strengths and find the approach that is right for you, your students and your specific context.

What are the potential benefits?
  • Flexible times: Learning and teaching can occur at times that better suit students and teachers.
  • Flexible locations: Learning and teaching can take place almost anywhere, providing opportunities to include students and teachers from diverse locations.
  • Diverse and enriching experiences: Flexibility in time and location provides opportunities to connect students with people in different disciplines and cultures.
  • Access and equity: Online delivery provides diverse mechanisms for participation. Students and teachers who have restricted ability to take part in face-to-face classes may be able to fully participate in online classes.
  • Diverse contexts: Online education can support learning in diverse contexts, including professional and industry practice.
  • Capability: Online technologies can enable modes of learning not otherwise available or viable, including activities that would otherwise involve high risk, high cost or scarce resources.
  • Analytics: Data about how students and teachers interact with each other and resources online can aid scholarly approaches to teaching.
  • Information sharing: Resources can be easier to access and share in digital format. Online education can use search engines, digital libraries and social networking tools to find, access and share materials.

How do I get started?

Based on our experience with designing ITU's first online course, we have gathered this practical guide with advice on how to start.

In Learning Unit, we are always available for an informal chat no matter where you are in this process. Our aim is to support you in realizing your ideas while sharing our knowledge with you. Please, contact us via the contact information on the menu to the left.

Read our Guide to online course design.

Further readings

Ehrmann, Stephen C. (2010) Ten Things I (no longer) Believe about Transforming Teaching & Learning (With Technology)
Laurillard, Diana ( 2008) Digital technologies and their role in achieving our ambitions for education, Professorial lecture, Institute of Education, University of London, 38pp.
Ross, J., S. Bayne, H. Macleod and C. O’Shea (2011) Manifesto for teaching online
JISC (2012) Transforming curriculum delivery through technology: Stories of challenge, benefit and change
JISC (2012) Enhancing Practice: exploring innovation with technology in further education
UNSW: COFA Online (2010) Learning to teach online: Why is online teaching important?