Virtual Learning Refresh Opportunities


Originally gathered to help faculty prepare for remote teaching in Spring 2020, the following menu of professional development options offers faculty with a variety of self-directed, competency-based approaches. We have gathered options that take into account varying educational technology experience levels and unique disciplinary contexts. 

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

What are the technology basics that I should know and where can I get help? 

  • Technology and Blackboard proficiency - Faculty teaching online courses should meet the Foundations course technical competency prerequisite requirements and become familiar with our learning management system, Blackboard 
  • eLearning training videos and guides – We invite you to explore the features and capabilities of Blackboard, Panopto (GVSU’s private video hosting service that will allow you to quickly create, edit, caption and host any academic videos), or other supported technology.  Extensive online resources are available at:


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 November 8, 2022