Faculty Support

Faculty Support

Before You Begin Using Moodle

Before teaching an online course, instructors should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Am I comfortable using basic software programs like MS Word and PowerPoint?
  • Am I comfortable using the internet, including uploading/downloading files and using basic email functions?
  • Am I willing to check my CSU email every day?
  • Will I be able to make my online instruction at least as rigorous, challenging, and engaging as my face-to-face courses?
  • Am I willing to think differently and adapt to new modes of instruction, activities, assignments, and assessment?
  • Am I willing to stay current with the latest technologies?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then you should consider teaching online. If you would like to proceed, then your next step will be to complete the Online Certification Training course (see below).

Information about Online Certification Training (OCT) and other online faculty development opportunities can be found on our Moodle Faculty Support page.

Online Certification Training (OCT)

OCT is the university's eight-week training program that prepares faculty to teach online. It helps instructors understand what online learning is, how to prepare their course content for an online environment, and what the best practices are for online course development and teaching. It also explores such areas as ADA web accessibility guidelines and internet copyright and fair use.

In accordance with Appendix G of the CSU Contract (2010-2015), all faculty members who wish to teach online must first complete OCT. Permission to teach online must also be obtained from one's respective dean and department chair.

OCT is offered regularly throughout the year. To find out when the next session is being offered, or to sign up for it, contact our offices at elearning@csu.edu.

What are the learning objectives of OCT?

  • Know and understand the meaning of online learning
  • Know and understand the benefits of teaching online
  • Know and understand the advantages of learning online
  • Know and understand the challenges of teaching online
  • Know and understand Chickering and Gamson's Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
  • Provide examples of well-designed course pages, rubrics, lessons, and assignments that exemplify superior design of online courses

Unit III: Copyright, Fair Use, and the TEACH Act

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how copyright, fair use, and the TEACH Act affect course creation in online learning

Unit IV: ADA Web Accessibility

  • Explore and understand the basic principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Unit V: Instructional Design Basics

  • Be able to effectively connect learning objectives, activities, and assessments in an online setting

Unit VI: Building Course Content

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to create a comprehensive online learning experience


Faculty Who Completed the OCT 

Online Teaching Excellence (OTE)

The OOIIT offers additional faculty development opportunities for online teaching with the Online Teaching Excellence series.

The first course sequence to be offered in OTE is "Pedagogy and Andragogy."  Having gained a solid grounding in the basics of online learning, this sequence of two mini-courses (five weeks each) helps its participants to more rigorously understand and implement best practices in instructor-guided learning (pedagogy), as well as adult, self-directed learning (andragogy). Unlike OCT, successful completion of this course is not required to teach online at CSU, however, it is strongly recommended for anyone who wishes to enhance his or her online teaching.

NOTE: All are welcome to participate in part I of this sequence.  However, to participate in part II, participants will have needed to complete OCT and have built a complete online course of their own.

Faculty support for online learning is provided by the CTRE and OOIIT, which offers a variety of opportunities, such as:

  • Workshops: In-person and online training sessions for using Moodle, such as basic navigation skills, setting up a grade book, and using BigBlueButton. Workshops are held regularly each semester.
  • One-on-One Training: Both faculty and students are welcome to make an appointment with OOIIT staff to receive support during regularly scheduled open hours. If you would like to make an appointment, click here.
  • CSU-Instructors Resources and Training Course: All CSU instructors are automatically signed up for this "course" in Moodle, whether they teach online or not. It is filled with helpful resources and guides on online learning, as well as information about upcoming workshops and OCT.

Organizations and Groups

The OOIIT  holds an institutional membership with the following groups. This entitles faculty at CSU to take advantage of various meetings, conferences, and development opportunities throughout the year, oftentimes free of cost.

Click here for Faculty Resource Network (FRN)

This consortium, spearheaded by New York University, is an award-winning professional development initiative that sponsors programs for faculty members from over 50 colleges and universities. FRN hosts lectures, symposia, and intensive seminars, all of which are designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning at its member institutions.

Chicago Area Faculty Development (CAFDN)

CAFDN is a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to promoting the improvement of college teaching by providing a convenient and affordable way for professionals to exchange ideas and best practices in various fields of practice.

Chicago Area Assessment Group (CAAG)

The mission of CAAG is to advance the understanding of assessment and its impact on college and university planning and effectiveness. Its goal is to serve as a professional peer group that provides a forum for sharing best practices, soliciting feedback, and creating an open dialogue for gathering information and thinking through ideas.

Illinois Online Network

ION is a state-wide organization that provides faculty professional development courses, on-site presentations, annual conferences, and access to an online rubric to assess and guide the development of online courses. It has a wealth of resources to assist both the veteran and newcomer online instructor alike.

Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities (CILC)

This organization seeks to promote and support the development of learning communities in Illinois colleges and universities. CILC sponsors an annual best practices symposium, offers expertise to institutions seeking to develop learning communities, and provides a means of facilitating collaboration between its members' institutions.

Supporting Learning and Technology in Education (SLATE)

SLATE was created from the concept that all institutions that use Web-based components to enhance their teaching and learning activities have the same questions, challenges, and the need for solutions. By drawing together the expertise of the people involved in the entire academic experience, a broader, more accessible support system can be established.

Teaching Resource Websites

The web is full of excellent resources for faculty to learn about best practices and new technologies, connect with faculty from around the world, and bring engaging activities into their teaching. Below are just a handful of examples.