Teaching Online Checklist

Planning and Preparing to Teach an Online Course:

  • Consider scheduling an appointment with an Instructional Designer in our office at least 2-3 months before the online class is scheduled to begin to review best practices, course design and development guidelines, and available educational technology resources.
  • Review standards for quality course design, such as the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)'s Principles of Good Practice and the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric.
  • Review the information in the Faculty section of this web site where you will find information about training, course design assistance, and course review/evaluation available through Online@JSU. We encourage you to arrange for or complete needed training. Our recommendation is that you complete training (online or face-to-face) that addresses each feature you plan to use or have your students use in the course of conducting your online course.
  • Consult your department head regarding any individual college or department-level procedures related to online courses and to ensure that your course is approved by the department, college, and appropriate curriculum committee.
  • Before the course is offered for the first time, notify our Office that the course has been approved and has been entered into the Master Schedule. If your course is associated with any special programs, such as STEP, please include that information as well.

Teaching and Managing an Online Course:

  • Make your completed course available to students in Blackboard no later than the first day of classes (as noted on the Academic Calendar).
  • Email students to let them know how to get started in your Blackboard course shell. This email can set the tone for students' performance and your expectations in your course and is a great way to also remind students about the Blackboard system requirements, support options, and other information that can be found in the Blackboard Learn environment.
  • Monitor your official roster and the Blackboard student roster in your course(s) to ensure you know who is in your course, especially during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. Please note that you should not enroll or unenroll students from your Blackboard course. Enrollments are automated between Banner and Blackboard. If you have questions about student enrollments, contact Online@JSU. Please note that you should also not attempt to merge sections of your online courses. If you wish to merge courses, you should contact Online@JSU prior to the start of the term (before students access the course). Please review the Course Enrollment Merge page for information that should be sent in your merge request.
  • Maintain good communication prior to and throughout the semester with every student and inform the students of your preferred form of communication. If you have had no correspondence or evidence of course activity from a student in a reasonable amount of time, you should contact the student to determine why and offer appropriate assistance or instructions. Various features in Blackboard, such as the Last Access column in the Grade Center, the Performance Dashboard, and the Retention Center will assist you with determining a student's last access to your online course.
  • Check your JSU e-mail often and encourage your students to do the same. If your JSU e-mail is not your preferred e-mail account, please forward your JSU e-mail to that account. This is very important for both you and your students, as much important information from Online@JSU and the University is sent to your JSU e-mail account.