Remote Teaching Spring 2020 - Professional Development Options


As Grand Valley State University plans for quality remote offerings in the Spring 2020 semester, a new menu of professional development options for faculty has been created. Taking a self-directed and competency-based approach, we have gathered streamlined options that take into account varying educational technology experience levels and unique disciplinary contexts. While many faculty will have transitioned to remote teaching during the Winter 2020 semester, building on their experiences and learn more about online course design and pedagogical practices. Faculty are expected to spend approximately 4 hours engaging in one or more of the menu options below. 

For faculty teaching online courses beyond Spring 2020, these professional development options do not replace the faculty competency requirements. Visit this page for expanded options that fulfill the Summer 2020 and beyond requirements

For additional reference, please consult: 

Need help choosing from among the menu of options? Don't hesitate to contact us and be connected with a consultant who can assist.

Quality Online Courses

The basis for quality online teaching has already been established with the Grand Valley State University Online/Hybrid Course Peer Review Rubric (Word doc). This document outlines seven aspects of quality online/hybrid courses that prove useful for not only peer review but the course design process itself: (i) overall course design and organization, (ii) course expectations, (iii) faculty/student interaction, (iv) reciprocity and cooperation among students, (v) active learning, (vi) prompt feedback, and (vii) high expectations. Additional resources to support course planning in these areas can be found on the Seven Essential Online Course Components page.

As faculty plan their courses, the Online Education Council offers these guiding questions to consider:

  • How will content delivery and student learning be supported in an online format? 
  • What Blackboard tools and other technologies will be used? 
  • What pedagogical strategies will be used to ensure active learning?
  • How will technology be used to support online delivery of assessments and evaluation of student learning?

The Basics

Technology and Blackboard proficiency - Faculty teaching online courses should meet the Foundations course technical competency prerequisite requirements.

Existing eLearning training videos and guides – We invite you to explore the features and capabilities of Blackboard, Panopto, or other supported technology.  Extensive online resources are available at:


Going Beyond Remote Teaching - Self-Paced eLearning Course - Adapted from the Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development workshop, this Blackboard-based offering allows faculty to engage with course design best practices as well as GVSU-supported technologies. Faculty choosing to participate in this offering can find the “Going Beyond Remote Teaching” course listed under the My Courses area in Blackboard. You may need to scroll down to see the listing. If you do not see this course please email: [email protected] 

Reminder: faculty seeking approval to teach online/hybrid courses beyond Spring 2020 are required to select from one of the more intensive Faculty Workshop options detailed here


Peer-to-peer mentorship – Meet with a GVSU peer mentor either individually or in small groups. Mentors are faculty from across the university who have volunteered to assist, are certified to teach online, and have online teaching experience. Guidance and support is tailored to one's needs and course content. Mentors are encouraged to utilize the Peer Review Rubric to frame discussions and provide feedback to their mentee(s). To sign up either as a mentor or a mentee, contact us at [email protected]


Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Online Teaching Toolkit – ACUE has made available for free a set of their content, taking the form of short videos and sample assignments, resources are provided in six topical areas:

  • Welcoming students to the online environment
  • Managing your online presence
  • Organizing your online course
  • Planning and facilitating quality discussions
  • Recording effective micro-lectures
  • Engaging students in readings and micro-lectures


Take advantage of 24/7 access to our subscription to the Magna 20-Minute Mentor library of video-based programs, many of which relate to online learning. Each 20-minute video is accompanied by PDF handouts and a transcript. Contact [email protected] for access instructions. A few sample program titles:

  • How can I create an effective syllabus for my online class?
  • How can the three C’s of course design enhance students’ online performance?
  • How can I earn swift trust in my online classes?
  • How do I create engaging threaded discussion questions?
  • How can online instructors make themselves more visible to students?
  • How can I create a platform for difficult conversations in the online classroom?
  • How can online instructors better manage their workload?


Magna Publications has made available a new Taking Your Teaching Online program. Note: the $49 fee is waived with a coupon code available on the course website; order processing takes ~24hrs. The package includes some select 20 Minute Mentor programs, along with recordings of longer, more in-depth video seminars. Topics include:

  • Seven things to consider before developing an online course
  • How do I design innovative assignments to foster learning in the online classroom?
  • Eight small teaching strategies that deliver big results to engage online students and improve learning
  • Seven ways to facilitate effective online discussions
  • How can I build community in my online class?
  • How do I set students up for success in online courses?


Online Learning Consortium workshops  –  All faculty are eligible to apply for a Pew FTLC OLC Workshop Sponsored Grant to cover the $110 tuition cost. In addition to the annual schedule of interactive workshops, there are self-paced workshops (~6hrs of content each) now available, including: 

For the Adventurous

Free courses (MOOCs) currently being offered through edX and Coursera include:

Page last modified August 5, 2020