Preparation for Teaching Online Workshop

Whether you are a seasoned online instructor or a first-time digital professor, the SPS Preparation for Teaching Online (PTO) is designed as an opportunity for new faculty to explore with colleagues the pedagogical theories and technological skills essential to effective teaching at the School of Professional Studies. Designed to model best practices of course design and instruction in the asynchronous online modality as practiced at SPS, the PTO provides a practical common ground for all SPS faculty.

About the Workshop

The PTO is an 18-day, facilitated, asynchronous, online workshop that covers best practices of online teaching while providing the experience of being a student in the asynchronous online modality—the experience of most SPS students. Topics include course design, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), communication and engagement, assessments and assignments, and significant learning—the type of learning that elicits meaningful and long-lasting change within your students. 

Throughout the workshop, you’ll be engaged in digital conversation, critique, and collaboration with colleagues while you process the course materials and apply in a lab setting the pedagogy we explore. While our focus is on the theory behind the choices you’ll make in these labs, you’ll also have access to step-by-step support to ensure that you are comfortable with a range of features in Brightspace and other digital tools that you’ll rely on throughout your time at SPS. This lab work can also be directly utilized in upcoming courses, saving you time in the long run.

The PTO is a key element in the range of supportive services for faculty at SPS, from our accessibility, OER, and multimedia services to our faculty peer mentoring program and faculty newsletters. These continued supports will not only help you sustain the quality of your instruction semester by semester, but they will ensure that you continue to grow along with your peers, providing our students consistency as they progress through their programs.

Sample Schedule

Every session, we update our PTO workshop based on previous participant feedback and emerging research, so no two workshops are identical. However, the schedule below can give you some sense of the investigations, assignments, and pacing you’ll experience during the course.

Module  Assignments
Start Here
Days 1-2
  • Review syllabus and workshop information in Start Here section
  • Introduce yourself in the VoiceThread in Start Here
  • Mobile: Install the Brightspace Pulse app
Module I
Understanding the Online Learning Environment
Days 3-5
  • Review module materials
  • Participate in Module I discussion
  • Lab Assignment 1: Sharing your Instructor Info
  • Sign up for the Group Activity
  • Video Project: draft script and choose images for your video introduction in storyboard format (Due in Module II)
Module II
Structuring the Online Learning Experience
Days 6-8
  • Review module materials
  • Participate in Module II discussion
  • Lab Assignment 2: Announcements
  • Video Project: Submit storyboard assignment
  • Mobile: View the course content areas in the Brightspace Pulse app
Module III
Communicating and Engaging Online
Days 9-11
  • Review module materials
  • Group Activity
  • Lab Assignment 3: Create a graded discussion forum
  • Video Project: optional video recording & editing training
  • Mobile: View communication tools in the Brightspace Pulse app
Module IV
Effective Assessments and Assignments
Days 12-15
  • Review module materials
  • Participate in Module IV discussion
  • Lab Assignment 4: Create an assessment
  • Video Project: Tech check
  • Mobile: View assignments, the Tech Check survey, grades, and feedback in the Brightspace Pulse app
Module V
Reinforcing Learning
Days 16-17
  • Review module materials
  • Video Project: Record and edit your introduction video, share it in the Video Project discussion forum.
  • Mobile: Ensure you have posted at least once in the Mobile Alert! discussion forum.
Wrap Up
Day 18 
  • Review wrap-up materials
  • Reflection: Post a reflection about your workshop experience
  • Leave feedback for colleagues on their Intro Videos in the discussion forum (optional)
  • Complete the workshop evaluation form—we appreciate your feedback!