Teaching and Learning

For Instructors

High quality online courses: How to improve course design & delivery for your post-secondary learners

High Quality Online Courses is a 4-module course developed in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, University Toronto, Queen’s University, and Conestoga College. This resource guides learners (e.g., instructors or academic support staff) through the stages of online course design and delivery, including the conception and planning stage, the design of activities and assessments, the structuring and design of content, as well as teaching and facilitation strategies to help in the creation and delivery of high quality online courses. A strong emphasis is placed on real-life examples, as well as interactive and hands-on activities that contributed to the creation of customized materials that can be used in any course the learner may be involved in.  This resource was funded by the Government of Ontario, through eCampusOntario's support of Virtual Learning Strategies. The OER is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License (except where otherwise noted).

Humanizing Virtual Learning

Humanizing Virtual Learning guides learners (e.g., instructors or academic support staff) through the principles, strategies, and many applied examples of how to humanize online and virtual learning through building connection and inclusivity into the design and delivery of virtual learning in higher education. 

User Experience Design for Learning (UXDL) Honeycomb

User Experience Design for Learning (UXDL) Honeycomb helps course instructors and designers create valuable online learning experiences. The framework is grounded in psychological research in cognition and learning and places learners at the centre of the design process, ensuring that online courses are useful, desirable, accessible, credible, and intuitive.

Online Instructional Skills Workshop

The Online Instructional Skills Workshop (OISW) is a 6-week intensive, peer-based, learner-focused workshop that supports rapid growth and improvement in online instruction through experimentation and feedback. The OISW emphasizes experiential learning and reflective practice in online teaching; it does not focus on technological fluency.

Online Facilitator Development Workshop

The Online Facilitator Development Workshop (OFDW) is an 8-week intensive workshop intended for individuals who have completed the Online Instructional Skills Workshop (OISW) and who wish to become OISW facilitators. The workshop provides individuals with an online opportunity for professional development in a challenging and supportive atmosphere.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA)

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) project was a collaboration between Waterloo and 9 other universities and colleges across Ontario to develop a 6-module open educational resource for post-secondary educators to help them understand their responsibilities under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It will help instructors and others to incorporate principles of UDL and considerations of EDI and Indigenisation in their learning environment

Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education

Waterloo's Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) has developed a resource called Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education.

It was designed for post-secondary instructors and teaching assistants who would like to better understand the critical role of facilitation in online course delivery and build practical skills and strategies that are relevant, effective, and authentic.

Just as a well-written script does not come alive until great actors speak the lines, a well-designed online course accomplishes far less without great facilitators to see it through.

Video Overviews

High Quality Online Courses

Remote video URL

Humanizing virtual learning

Remote video URL

For Students

Getting Ready to Learn Online

CEL's Getting Ready to Learn Online module was built to help students succeed in an online environment. It helps students understand the benefits of taking an online course, how to make the most of their course, and how to succeed as an online learner.

Academic Integrity for STEM Students

This six-lesson series is tailored for students in STEM disciplines and introduces them to key concepts of Academic Integrity practices. The modules emphasize the academic experiences unique to STEM students, especially when learning and working online, and draw on real-world examples to help students delineate between acceptable and unacceptable practices.

Mental Health Literacy College Course

This for-credit 14-week college Mental Health Literacy course introduces students to mental health literacy and its goals of recognizing and managing mental health concerns, strengthening mental health and well-being, and ending stigma.