Best Practices in Teaching Online


***The Fall 2020 sections are now full***

Online learning is a form of distance education where students are physically separated by time and/or location and are connected through the Internet. Teaching and learning online opens the door to more freedom and convenience for students, more diversity in student membership, and access to a world of online resources. Teaching and learning online also poses many challenges.

In this course, you will explore both the opportunities and the challenges of teaching online. You will experience online learning as both a student and an educator, building empathy for both roles. You will consider what is unique about learning online, as well as learning principles that stand consistent no matter what the delivery system.

This online course is instructor‐facilitated and includes weekly discussions, individual and small group activities. Throughout the course, participants will construct a sample online course syllabus that considers course goals and objectives suitable for an online course, an online communications strategy, and the selection of student learning activities and assessments.


To register for the course, please login to your WIU gmail account. Then click the link below to submit the registration form. Once you are registered, you will receive a welcome letter via email and a book via campus mail approximately one week prior to the course start date. NOTE: Books must be returned to CITR at the conclusion of the course. Please do not mark or highlight in them as they will be used for future sections of the course.

  • BPTO Registration Form - You must be logged in to your WIU gmail account (not a personal gmail account) to access the form.


Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (4th Edition)
by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen
© 2017 Routledge (ISBN 978-0-415-83243-4)

Normally, a physical book is loaned out to BPTO participants. However, due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, the chapters we will use for this course is being made available to you in electronic format. Please do not modify or redistribute it in any way.


The is a six week course and is offered every semester, including the summer. The course will not appear in your My Courses area in Western Online until the first day of the course.

  • Spring Semester - Course begins on the first Monday of February
  • Summer Semester - TBA
  • Fall Semester - Course begins on the first Monday of September