How to Teach an Online Course

The demand for online teaching has increased tremendously over the past few years. Teaching online does not mean simply transferring old methods and techniques of teaching to the new medium. It involves developing a sense of community within the group of students for the learning and teaching process to be a success. For this, it is very important for someone who wants to teach online to know how to teach an online course.


  • Preparing to teach online involves a lot of planning in building and testing the course website.
  • Earlier, online course were offered by only a few less reputed universities. However, all that has changed now with many top-notch schools also offering online and distance learning education programs.
  • How to Teach an Online Course

  • This has made it easier for teachers to apply for and teach an online course.
  • The process of applying for the teaching post is same as for applying to a normal college course.
  • You just need to fill in the application form, submit your resume and then prepare for the interview.

Training programs

  • Some schools and universities will require that you undergo training before teaching an online course.
  • This training may include visiting an online class to get an idea of how things work or it may require you to undergo a certification program for you to actually learn how to teach an online course.
  • Some training programs may just involve reading a booklet on the aspects on online teaching and the software used in teaching.
  • If you are about to teach online for the first time it is a good idea to undergo some form of training so that you are better prepared.

Online course

  • Students who opt for online course need not necessarily be computer literate. While you may find some students to be very computer savvy, others might not have ever worked on a computer.
  • Therefore it is important that you lay out your course in such a way that it is easy for even novices to navigate through it.
  • Some places will have a standard layout in place, so you don’t have to worry about that aspect, while others will let you customize your course layout as you want it to be.
  • The main thing to remember here is that if you have control over how the course is structured, then you should try to make it as simple as possible for your students.

Lesson plans

  • A lot of planning will go in drafting your lesson plans.
  • You must make sure that they are easy to comprehend, more so because online learning students do not have the benefit of asking their doubts and questions then and there.
  • Plan your lessons in such a way that they are brief. Students will not like reading tons of tons of material in one class.
  • This does not mean you compromise on the information. You will have to present all the information in the online class as would in a normal classroom. The only difference is how you present it.

Tests, examinations

  • Creating test papers and examination papers is perhaps one of the aspects of teaching an online course which is most different than teaching a classroom.
  • This is because you cannot restrict it to a specific time period.
  • An examination or test can be of just one hour or even stretch up to one week.
  • This gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of creating the test paper, how long or tough it should be.

Student interaction

  • As an online teacher you must expect a lot of student contact.
  • Remember, the only way students can get their doubts solved is by mailing the online teacher, so the volume of e-mails you receive from students can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are new to online teaching.
  • However, this is something you cannot ignore and you must answer each mail patiently.

Website information

  • You must make sure that your website where you will be teaching the online course has the course syllabus or at least a link to it.
  • It should also mention how the students can contact the teacher and how much time they should expect the teacher to take for responding to their e-mails.
  • The website should also contain instructions on how to download any necessary software for accessing any information on the website.

I hope all these tips mentioned above will help you in teaching an online course.

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