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Resources that support your online teaching

Mintz provides several suggestions that add engaging, interactive elements in an online class.

Brydon and Giacomini conducted an extensive comparison of discussion formats and outcomes in a class offered both face-to-face and online. They adjusted a number of parameters regarding discussion in the online class including the use of small groups, peer and cumulative grading, and the quality and focus of the discussion questions. Instructor and student feedback indicated these simple changes encouraged engagement, self-direction and self-regulation and helped build peer relationships.              

Bass and Lawrence-Riddell describe how multimedia theory melds with Universally Designed Learning (UDL) to foster learning and digital skills. They provide a checklist built on such UDL principles as multiple means of representation; action and expression; and engagement, and several other helpful resources.

Advice about using technology to provide effective, timely, and engaging feedback is given in this helpful guide.  Examples include rubrics, annotations, audio and video feedback, and peer review.

Information about ten interesting and diverse YouTube channels is shared in this article.

Dwinnells provides a number of suggestions to help maintain instructor presence and student engagement in an online class.

This article describes a 5-year research study that analyzed nearly 60 articles from distance education journals for online class parameters. Findings indicate that foundational content evaluated at lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy is provided in larger online classes of 40 or more students, whereas challenging material evaluated at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy or requiring more interaction between instructor and students is taught in online class sizes of 15 or fewer students.

Dr. Thompson utilizes a number of tools in her online classes to build classroom community, including innovative uses of Zoom, resulting in higher levels of student engagement and collegiality.

A faculty member from Stanford shares information about social identity and barriers or threats that some students face or perceive in an online class and suggests instructors analyze images and videos used in the class as well as provide inclusive, affirming activities, including those that provide a sense of belonging or connection to others in the class. (Click transcript or watch the 4-minute video.)

The director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Grand View University describes how teaching online has also improved his teaching overall, including aspects of class design, assessment, discussion, and critical reflection. 

Thomas Tobin shares his experience with student assessment, ranging from assigning grades for an overwhelming number of assignments and exams to a technique known as ungrading, enhancing learning through authentic assessment. Tobin provides a number of suggestions to instructors beginning the process of ungrading and links to theories and articles about the technique.

The authors discuss ways to enhance instructor presence in an online class, including social presence, and how to personalize the learning environment to positively impact and engage with students.

Dr. Schisler gives her classes a pre-scheduled make-up day for assignments and exams close to the end of each semester, explaining its usefulness as well as why it is best for students to complete classwork when it is due.  

Information about techniques designed to increase engagement, involvement, and retention in the online classroom is provided.

Personal, funny, or motivational videos sent from an instructor at the right time can help foster authenticity, creativity, and community in an online course.

This online instructor shares insight into how she ended up with a flexible approach to grading late work.

Many laptops, tablets, and phones have a talk-to-text feature that can be accessed within the learning management system to cut down on time spent typing comments while grading.

A group of professors share several alternatives to traditional multiple-choice testing that could have many benefits to students and learning.  

Using Turnitin allows this instructor to identify what students don’t understand and “address plagiarism without it being a punitive moment.”

Flower Darby discusses why she adapted Small Teaching by James Lang for online teaching and provides examples of how small changes can make a big impact.

Backwards Design places the focus on learning by focusing on student outcomes first, and this article provides methods using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

An experienced instructional designer provides strategies for teaching empathy in an online class, because it is an important skill in becoming an effective leader and communicator.

A diverse panel of online students share specific steps instructors can take to create a sense of community among students in their course.

Members of WCET shared their favorite podcasts, and here is a comprehensive list of those recommendations.

The author provides several suggestions for enhancing and creating community in your online classes.

Experts discuss the need (and student requests for) for consistent navigation in online classes.

The University of Arkansas summarizes several elements of universal design in this helpful review.

Flower Darby discusses the role of technology as a way of enhancing course material, resulting in connections with students and improved retention.  

The author describes an innovative program she developed for her math class called Aloha, active learning office hours and assignments, in which students work in small groups (in person and online) to complete math assignments. Achievement on final exams has increased with Aloha.

Instructional designer, author of ‘Small Teaching Online’ and online instructor, Flower Darby provides practical tips for making online teaching enjoyable such as being present and being yourself in the online environment.

Here are tips to make online group projects an incredible learning experience for all team members by avoiding pitfalls and using technology to your advantage.

These educators developed a virtual, topographical map with the use of augmented reality in order to teach online horticulture students.

Finding images on Creative Commons just got much easier, and the new search function could soon be used for other types of media as well.


Growth in Mizzou’s online education portfolio is responsible for enrollment gains for many consecutive semesters. Thus, revenue from online education has increased. Online education is woven into the university’s mission: every school and college offers distance programs.

FY 18 Revenue from online courses administered by Mizzou Online:

The revenue total for FY19 will exceed $41M.

Enrollment gains

Spring 19 continued to show online enrollment growth. For the Graduate School, Spring 19 brought 45% of its total enrollment from distance students. Overall, distance student enrollment is up 19% over Spring 18.

MU’s infrastructure ensures student success

From increased participation in the course redesign process to the addition of services for distance students, investment in student success is responsible for positive outcomes for thousands of students both on campus and learning at a distance. 88% of the students who graduated last week took at least one online course facilitated by Mizzou Online at some point in their student career.



If you are planning a research project involving an online teaching and learning topic, we are available to assist you. Contact Mizzou Online’s Assistant Director for Research, Terrie Nagel, PhD, to learn more. Nagel has more than 20 years of experience in distance education.

Curated materials: Mizzou Online curates a collection of research articles pertaining to online teaching and learning. If you’ve had an article published, let us know so we can add it to the collection. To see MU and other research about distance education, click here to enroll in the Articles about Online Teaching and Resources site in Canvas.


Reminder: MU has MDHE approval to offer stand-alone undergraduate certificates. If you already offer a degree-dependent UG certificate and want to offer it as a distance stand-alone program, you may do so. No additional approval from MDHE is necessary.

Want to start the process of creating a stand-alone certificate to attract new distance students? Start by submitting this Undergraduate Certificate Proposal form to Undergraduate Studies. Proposals are reviewed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Please contact Mizzou Online Program Coordination if you would like to research market demand and potential distance student audiences for a new or new-to-online certificate.