The Guidelines for Online Teaching and Design is a resource that assists members of the University community (e.g., faculty, instructors, administrators, instructional designers) in supporting student learning in online courses and programs. The Guidelines cover a range of topics and resources critical to providing an effective learner-centered online experience.

“Online teaching” can include a variety of course delivery types (e.g. fully online, hybrid, blended or face-to-face); in other words, the Guidelines for Online Teaching and Design are relevant whenever a course integrates online elements (e.g., Canvas) into teaching and learning.

The Guidelines are meant to strike a balance between providing both constructive guidance and adequate flexibility for units that develop online learning courses and programs. They were developed in response to a 2017 charge from Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson. This document does not need to be read from start to finish. Please use the chapter headings to navigate to the sections that are most relevant and useful to you.

The Guidelines draw on existing guidelines used nationwide and at benchmark universities, seminal articles in the literature, the U of M policy library, and expertise from throughout the U of M community.  Where guidelines relate to University policy, we link to related documentation. Feedback on the Guidelines has been provided by faculty, administrators, academic technologists, and educational developers from across the University of Minnesota system.  Additional feedback, questions, and suggestions about the Guidelines are welcomed and encouraged; please send your suggestions/questions via this survey or via the TeachingSupport form. The Guidelines will be reviewed annually for accuracy and improvements.


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Guidelines for Online Teaching and Design Copyright © by and Faculty Development for Online Teaching task group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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