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Overview of the Website

Page history last edited by Anne McKinney 13 years, 8 months ago


See bottom of page for photo information. 

Best Practices for WISE Instructors

The content of this workshop will consist of a series of pages grouped into seven modules:


  • Introduction & Overview
  • Course Website Basics
  • Communicating With Your Students
  • Developing Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students
  • Planning the Path to Learning
  • Achieving High Expectations
  • Wrapping Up


Reading the material on this website is not intended to provide qualification for teaching online, but to inform potential instructors of effective strategies and practices that will improve the quality of their online courses. However, there are opportunities to interact with other learners and develop your skills in online pedagogy if you wish to do so.


Expected Outcomes

By reading the pages on this website and completing the accompanying exercises, you should be able to:


  • develop an understanding of key online pedagogical principles
  • think critically about online learning from a student's perspective
  • demonstrate an understanding of important design principles for developing an online course website
  • synthesize course documents
  • plan course activities and assignments to appeal to multiple learning styles
  • communicate to students what they can expect from the course
  • practice excellent communication with students
  • promote effective learning of course material and positive student engagement in the subject matter


Certificate of Completion


AUGUST 2010 UPDATE: Due to unfortunate funding cuts, WISE can no longer support its on-demand training workshop. The content on this site will remain as a read-only resource. The Certificate of Completion program, however, has been canceled. Please visit the main WISE website for current information.


Each module will include exercises designed to help you practice the information covered and interact with other learners in our WISE Pedagogy forums. Everyone is encouraged to participate in our ongoing forums at any time, whether you are learning about distance education as a beginner or continuing your development as an experienced instructor. Those who complete these exercises will be eligible to receive the Certificate of Completion for WISE Introduction to Online Pedagogy. 


By obtaining this certificate, online instructors may demonstrate that they have taken measures to learn basic tenets of effective online teaching practices. This certificate does not equate to course credit toward a degree in online pedagogy, or certification that requires a similar depth of study. It does, however, indicate that the individual has been introduced to important concepts in online pedagogy and has participated in an ongoing community of WISE scholars and instructors.


Of course, you do not need to pursue the Certificate to participate in the discussion.


Requirements for the Certificate

To qualify for the Certificate of Completion for WISE Introduction to Online Pedagogy, you will need to complete the following steps:


  1. Read through the information provided in this on-demand training website.


  2. Throughout the pages of this training website, you will see text boxes with links to the WISE forums and instructions for applying the information into interactive exercises (see the first box below). These exercises will lead you to participation in the WISE discussion forums and guide you to create documents for your own online course. Exercise topics include:


    • Signing up as a registered user in the forums (below)
    • Icebreakers
    • Readings in Online Pedagogy
    • Learning Objectives
    • Ins tructor-Student Communication
    • Interactive Student Activities
    • Teaching Multiple Learning Styles
    • Rubrics
    • Syllabus Design
    • Complete the final reflection exercise
  3. When you have completed each exercise, create a portfolio of your reflections from the discussion activities and revised drafts of course documents you have created.


  4. Send your portfolio, along with a cover letter applying for the Certificate of Completion, to Anne McKinney. Your application and portfolio will be reviewed in consideration of your understanding of effective practices in online pedagogy.


  5. Pending approval of your application, you will receive a personalized certificate (.pdf), which you can then print out or add to your personal profile or course website. 


Retroactive Certification for Moodle Workshop Participants

Individuals who participated in past sessions of the Moodle-based WISE Introduction to Online Pedagogy workshop may count the work accomplished during those sessions toward the Certificate in cases where the same exercises were completed. If you no longer have a record of what you wrote or created for one of these workshops, contact Anne McKinney to determine what was accomplished during your session and what remains to be completed for the certificate. Please be sure to include the month and year of your session or the course ID number if possible.



Exercising Your Knowledge

Follow this link to the WISE Pedagogy discussion forums. You will need to sign up for a free account to participate in the discussions. Your registration may require approval from the moderator before you can post your first message (this helps us weed out the spambots).


Once you log in as a registered user, you can explore the various forum threads and post messages. For your first message, go to the page on Icebreakers and follow the prompt for that forum.


Photo on this page: Creative Commons licensed photo via Flickr, intensive flickr by pbo31




Comments (2)

Jude Andrews said

at 11:31 am on Jul 27, 2009

Best Practices for WISE instructors. I wonder if all on-line teaching programs share the same or similiar best practices?

Anne McKinney said

at 1:19 pm on Jul 27, 2009

Hi Jude, this workshop teaches practices that have been recommended by multiple programs and instructors as effective in online learning. Each program that uses these practices will approach the subject with some variation and offer a different experience for learners.

There is more information about the most widely accepted "best practices" on the Overview of the Pedagogy pages in Module 1.

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