VCU TEDU 662 Course Syllabus
Fall 2016
September 19 – December 11

Title of Course:
Foundations of Online Teaching

Monty Jones, Ph.D.
804 827 2606
Twitter: VCUMonty
Virtual Office Hours:
– Tuesdays 2 pm – 4 pm (Google Hangout)
– Thursdays 2 pm – 4 pm (Google Hangout)

This introductory course in online teaching provides participants the opportunity to expand on their current teaching expertise to adapt to fully online and hybrid teaching environments. Participants will examine effective digital communication methods, historical and conceptual foundations of virtual instruction, instructional design and facilitation practices for virtual environments, assessment and evaluation within virtual environments, and management of virtual learning experiences.

Learning Goals:
By the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective electronic communication methods for instructions in the K-12 environment.
  2. Reflect on both historical and conceptual foundations of eLearning as well as current research and standards for online/blended course design/facilitation and articulate a personal philosopohy of practice in these areas
  3. Demonstrate effective virtual systematic instructional design through the development of a virtual learning environment.
  4. Describe how emerging technologies are impacting virtual teaching and learning.

This schedule is tentative and may be modified by the instructors as needed.

Week 1 (September 19-25) – Introduction to course and course tools

  1. Create your own blog
  2. Connect your personal blog to the course blog
  3. Read book chapter on foundations of eLearning
  4. Set up your twitter accounts
  5. Write your first post
  6. Respond to colleagues’ posts
  7. Explore and experiment with your rampages site

Week 2 (September 26-October 2) – Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Online Learning

  1. Complete readings and blog about Transactional Distance Theory Distance Theory
  2. Complete readings and blog about E-learning generations/MOOCs
  3. Determine the topic for your course project and tweet it out

Week 3 (October 3-9) – Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Online Learning

  1. Set up Feedly account
  2. Explore the Community of Inquiry Framework
  3. Write COI blog post
  4. Respond to your colleagues
  5. Refine your topic and write blog post – content

Week 4 (October 10-16) – Current Research & Leaders in K12 Online Learning

  1. Explore selections from Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning
  2. Explore selected elements of iNacol website
  3. Explore Michael Barbour’s Blog & Add to Feedly
  4. Write Current Status of Digital Learning Blog Post
  5. Respond to your colleagues
  6. Select/Report your LMS for your Module Project and tweet it out

Week 5 (October 17-23) – Instructional Design and the Development of Virtual Environments

  1. Read “What an Instructional Designer Does? 3 Myths Revealed” blog
  2. Explore NEA.orgs guidelines for the Development of Online Courses
  3. Write Perceptions of Instructional Design blog post
  4. Respond to your colleagues
  5. Blog providing a skeleton of your online module

Week 6 (October 24-30) – Instructional Design and the Development of Virtual Environments

  1. Read research on Instructional Design
  2. Explore Instructional Design Samples
  3. Write Instructional Design in My Project blog
  4. Respond to your colleagues
  5. Make changes to your course skeleton based on blogs/instructor feedback

Week 7 (October 31 – November 6) – Teaching in Virtual Environments

  1. Read/closely study TPACK materials
  2. Create TPACK lesson
  3. Read through 3 of your peers lessons and provide feedback

Week 8 (November 7-13) – Teaching in Virtual Environments

  1. Read/closely study instructor roles materials
  2. Blog post about instructor role
  3. Feedback on instructor roles
  4. Review online learning activities
  5. Blog post about learning activities
  6. Revised TPACK lesson

Week 9 (November 14-20) – Learning in Virtual Environments

  1. Read SRL materials
  2. Blog about how you will/or won’t address SRL in your learning module
  3. Explore Learning Management Systems (LMS) for your project
  4. Tweet your chosen LMS
  5. Read and respond to your peers SRL blogs

Week 10 (November 21-27) – Learning in Virtual Environments

  1. Read Online Community Materials
  2. Blog about online community
  3. Create skeleton for your module project
  4. Share log-in information with instructors/class
  5. Read and respond to your peers’ Online Community blogs

Week 11 (November 28-December 4) – Future tools and methods

  1. Read MOOC articles
  2. Blog about MOOCs
  3. Work on projects
  4. Blog about current project status

Week 12 (December 5-11) –  Future tools and methods

  1. Blog final reflection
  2. Read/watch virtual reality resources
  3. Blog about virtual reality
  4. Work on project
  5. Blog how we should review your final project


Expectations for learning in this course:

  • This course is designed to require between 7 and 8 hours of work each week for 12 weeks. The course is online, and there are no scheduled meeting times. Work is done asynchronously. In a course like this, it is very important that you keep up and turn in work on time. We move together as a group.
  • The course is built on the Rampages WordPress system. You will each create your own blog and link it to the course blog. You can keep your blog after the course and continue using it. We also use Twitter. You will create an account for this and you may continue using this account after the course concludes.
  • If for some reason an assignment will be late, I expect you to notify me as soon as you are aware of this situation. If I am not notified you will not receive credit for the assignment.
  • For your final project, you will create a short virtual learning module. This module is due on December 11th. The length and content of the module will vary for each student. This module should be one that you could use in your current environment. This module may be completely online or facilitated through a blended method. You will work on this module throughout the course and will receive feedback from myself as well as your peers. Your grade on this project will be based not just on your final project, but on the demonstrated growth you display throughout the course as evidenced by your blog posts. The process is more important than the final product.
  • Almost every week, you will be asked to post a blog entry on your blog, and then respond to your peers’ blog posts. While you will need to read the assignments each week for exact due dates, often the original post will due on Wednesday, and your response to others will be due the following Sunday.

Course Grading:

Course Activity Percentage of Grade
Weekly blog posts 40%
Online Learning module 20%
Participation in online conversations 30%
Participation in twitter conversations 10%

The following grading scale is used to determine letter grades for the course.

“A” = 90-100%                        “D” = 60-69%
“B” = 80-89%                          “F” = Below 60%
“C” = 70-79%


Further standard VCU Syllabi information located here:


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