Fundamentals of Online Teaching

Upcoming dates (1)

For registration assistance: 608-262-2451
Register by mail: printable registration form


Gain a basic overview of the knowledge and skills you need to teach in the online environment. Key topics include online course models, characteristics of online learners, understanding your role as an online instructor, how to plan content and learning activities and strategies to manage courses.


Key topics

  • Online Course Models and Principles
  • Characteristics of Online Learners
  • The Role of the Online Instructor
  • Planning Course Content
  • Planning Learning Activities
  • Course Management Strategies

You will complete a final assignment that challenges you to use your new knowledge about online learning to develop an online learning activity and consider key components of an effective online course. If you are new to the field of online education or would like to learn more about teaching online, this is the perfect course for you.

View a quick tour of the Fundamentals of Online Teaching (FoOT) Badge

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Course Outline

Course overview

The Fundamentals of Online Teaching (FoOT) badge consists of six modules.

Module 1: Online Course Models and Principles

Learn about the basic components of an online course and tips for converting a classroom-based course into an online format.

Key topics include:

  • Myths and concerns about teaching and learning online.
  • Social media and Web 2.0 tools.
  • Principles of effective online instruction.

Module 2: Understanding the Online Learner

Develop a greater understanding of the factors that contribute to effective learning online, including learner skills and learner supports.

Key topics include:

  • Challenges faced by the online learner.
  • Skills of competencies that help online learners succeed.
  • Types of support needed by online learners.

Module 3: Role of the Online Instructor

Discover effective teaching strategies and methods to engage learners in an online environment.

Key topics include:

  • Essential requirements for online instructors.
  • Proven teaching and learning design approaches for successful online instruction.
  • Approaches for assessing student learning in an online environment.

Module 4: Planning Online Course Content

Learn about the role of learning objectives, as well as principles for selecting, structuring, chunking, and formatting content and media material.

Key topics include:

  • Selecting online course content.
  • Strategies for designing and developing online course content.
  • Open Educational Resources (OERs), content curation and accessibility considerations.

Module 5: Planning Online Learning Activities

Explore examples of authentic learning activities that stimulate learner engagement.

Key topics include:

  • Purpose of and examples of proven online learning strategies.
  • Facilitating meaningful online interactions.
  • Principles for designing online activities that foster active learning.

Module 6: Course Management Strategies

Discover strategies for handling teaching tasks and workload and explore a variety of practical tips for managing time, communications, and students.

Key topics include:

  • Best practices for promoting academic honesty and integrity in online courses.
  • Policies to improve online course administration, communication, and student learning.
  • Principles and practices to manage individuals and groups in the online environment.

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 30
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 3

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (1)

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Program Questions?

Contact Janet Staker Woerner at janet.stakerwoerner@wisc.edu or 608-692-7131

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

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What Attendees Are Saying

The Fundamentals of Online Teaching" course was exactly what I needed. As a higher ed administrator for the last 15 years, many changes had evolved in teaching and in online education. As I prepared to return to some teaching, I needed to retool and this user-friendly course was just right. It was excellent in it design and delivery an enjoyable experience to boot!
— Lallene Rector, President Emerita and Associate Professor, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Fundamentals of Online Teaching was hands down one of the best certificate courses I've taken in a very long time. The content was rich and research-based, the discussion prompts were helpful for reflection and reinforcing the concepts and the facilitators were very effective 'guides-on-the-side'. If you have any interest in online teaching or just need to freshen up what you already know, this course is a must! Highly recommend!
— Shenita Brokenburr, Talent Development & Career Design, Bridge Braintrust LLC
This [badge] was just what I needed to advance my career as an instructor. The future of on-line teaching is here and this [badge] gives you everything you need to create a course and teach a course. All presented in a way that gives each student permission to move forward with their teaching goals in their own way and time frame. Bravo UW Madison for another great learning experience.
— Julie Tallard Johnson, Social Worker, Educator, Author, Counselor at UW–Madison
This was such a valuable [badge]. The content was relevant and structured in a way that enhanced my knowledge and skills with online teaching.
— Martha Biddle, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky