Summer Institute for Online Teaching

group photo of participating instructors and supporting instructional designers
Summer 2018 SIOT Cohort

Since 2002, UNL’s Summer Institute for Online Teaching (SIOT) has provided preparation and training, as well as a campus-wide faculty learning community, focused on online teaching. Summer Institute is funded and coordinated by Innovative Instructional Design, offered in partnership with Information Technology Services, and facilitated by UNL faculty from several colleges.


The five-week Summer Institute is designed to guide novice online instructors through the steps of course planning and development and explores the unique opportunities and challenges of the online learning environment. Many instructors with some online teaching experience have also found it valuable. Experienced online instructors from a variety of disciplines facilitate the weekly online small-group discussions, answering questions, providing feedback, and sharing from their experiences.


By the end of Summer Institute, participants will be able to:

  • Use principles of instructional design and nationally-recognized quality standards to evaluate, design, or redesign online courses.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of legal issues surrounding online courses including academic integrity, course material accessibility, copyright considerations, and other university resources and policies.
  • Create authentic assessments of learning that appropriately align with course learning objectives.
  • Apply research-based principles of instruction to create learner-centered, interactive, online learning activities that promote student success.
  • Establish an effective online instructional persona that is present throughout the course and fosters a sense of collaborative community among learners.
  • Develop strategies for managing time, communication, and instructor/student roles in online courses.

Organization and Topics

The Summer Institute is organized around five weekly learning modules. Each module features a brief “lesson,” including reading, discussion, and a small assignment, such as creating a portion of an online syllabus. Modules also include examples from UNL online courses and additional resources for exploration. Module topics include:

  • Planning and organizing an online course
  • Assessing student learning
  • Developing online content and activities
  • Building community & establish instructor presence
  • Managing an online course


Because of the weekly small-group interaction, your commitment is necessary for a productive and successful learning environment and to reap the benefits of the institute. In considering whether you want to register for the Summer Institute, please realize the following expectations for earning a certificate of completion. Participants:

  • Review course materials for each weekly module
  • Engage in weekly asynchronous discussions
  • Submit small weekly assignments
  • Attend two synchronous online class sessions via Zoom

Participants will need daily access to:

Quick Links


Steven Cain
(402) 472-4349