Institute of Online Teaching


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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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Take your online teaching to the next level with practical discussions and real-time peer and instructional designer feedback.

Since 2002, the university has run the Institute for Online Teaching (IOT) to provide preparation and training, as well as a campus-wide faculty learning community, focused on online teaching. Hundreds of faculty have prepared to teach online with us. 

The Teaching Online Learning Community (TOLC) is the latest IOT offering and is ideal for those new to online teaching or for those looking to refresh their knowledge. Faculty and graduate students are welcome.

TOLC focuses on overcoming the challenges of teaching online and offers two ways instructors can use the learning materials in the TOLC Canvas site.

  1. Instructors may use the learning materials in a self-guided way (Self-TOLC), or
  2. Participate in a 4-week learning community this summer (Summer-TOLC).

The Teaching Online Learning Community will run this summer July 8 through August 2, 2024 (Summer -TOLC). Click here to register.

TOLC is also available on request for colleges, departments, and programs. For more information, please contact Zach Manley (

Click here to access the Teaching Online Learning Community Canvas site.

If you are creating a new course or would like to revisit the basics of course design as you shift to online teaching, we encourage participation in an optional Backward Design workshop offered in the week before the institute starts.  

TOLC provides and opportunity to ... circle-people(business)


Self-Guided TOLC


Learn strategies for having a strong first day of class and how to make your syllabus more inclusive.
Learn how to design your course for everyone and about Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Learn ways to make your online course more engaging and expand your assessment.
Learn how to more effectively build online communities and craft social presence online.
Discuss approaches with peers and benefit from lessons learned in different contexts.
Attend virtual workshops and receive feedback on your course materials.
Earn a Certificate of Completion
2024 Registration Closed Self-TOLC

Summer-TOLC Overview

The four-week Teaching Online Learning Community (TOLC) is designed to guide new and novice online instructors to explore the unique opportunities and challenges of the online learning environment. Even instructors with some online teaching experience will find it valuable. Summer-TOLC will begin July 8, 2024, and will be conducted online. Registration for Summer-TOLC 2024 closes June 28th, 2024.


TOLC will help participants to better:

  • Plan a stellar first day of class that sets an inviting and inclusive tone.
  • Craft a more inclusive course syllabus.
  • More soundly navigate the complexity of course design.
  • Apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and digital accessibility principles to better meet the needs their diverse student audience.
  • Make learning visible by leveraging formative and summative assessments that are relevant and authentic.
  • Develop social presence and engagment in their online community.

Organization and Topics

This learning community is organized around four weekly learning modules. Module topics include the following:

  • Getting Ready for Day One - Plan for a strong start to the term and compose an inclusive syllabus. 
  • Designing Your Course for Everyone - Build an accessible course using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.  
  • Measurable, Visible Learning - Craft engagement and assessment opportunities to get the most from teaching and learning online.
  • Building Online Communities - Create experiences that support social presence and better form communities online. 


During Summer-TOLC, you will be expected to review each module's learning materials and be able to join two weekly synchronous sessions. The first synchronous session of the week is an opportunity to disucss the module's content and how it intersects with your own experiences. Use the reflective pause prompts throughout the modules as guidance for these discussions. The second synchronous session of the week will be a workshop related to the module.

In considering whether or not to join TOLC and pursue a certificate of completion, please note the following expectations for completion:

  • Review course materials for each module.
  • Demonstrate engagement with course materials by completing: 1) reflective pause prompts, 2) memory matrices, 3) end-of-module surveys.
  • Engage in two weekly synchronous discussions via Zoom. Discussions will be recorded.
  • Have access to a Canvas course for the workshop activities.
    • Participants can still join Summer-TOLC without access to a Canvas course.

Participants will need daily access to:


Class SegmentSynchronous Class Meetings*Topic(s)
Week 1
July 8 - 12

July 9, Tuesday 9:30-10:30am Discussion

July 11, Thursday 9:30-10:30am Workshop

Getting Ready for Day One

Week 2
July 15 - 19

July 16, Tuesday 9:30-10:30am Discussion

July 18, Thursday 9:30-10:30am Workshop

Designing Your Course for Everyone
Week 3
July 22 - 26

July 23, Tuesday 9:30-10:30am Discussion

July 25, Thursday 9:30-10:30am Workshop

Measurable, Visible Learning
Week 4
July 29 - August 2

July 30, Tuesday 9:30-10:30am Discussion

August 1, Thursday 9:30-10:30am Workshop

Building Online Communities