K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Course description

Introduction To Online Learning is a course designed to introduce web-based learning to people who are new to the online environment. The course will introduce the learner to the characteristics, requirements, tools, and practices of distance learning. Participants will learn how to use the discussion forum, participate in or review a synchronous chat, and review both formal and informal online courses.



Course goals

  • Learn common characteristics of online courses, including introductory materials, lesson styles, assignment types, discussion forums, and communication tools
  • Establish good online learning habits, including time management, reading, participating, communicating, and exploring independently
  • Practice using common online learning tools, including discussion forums, assignment submission tools, grades
  • Gain general knowledge of online technology through activities such as regularly logging in, practicing online communication, using online and other computer-based tools, and exploring the Internet
  • Gain general knowledge of online learning through study of the subject as well as hands-on exploration
  • Gain confidence in your ability to learn online through encouragement and discussion as well as developing practical knowledge and skills

Time commitment

You are expected to work in the course at least 3 days per week for approximately an hour each time. Over three weeks, this should be 9 to 15 hours. Please allow yourself plenty of time to work on this course at a relaxed pace.

Late work

If you cannot meet the deadline for an assignment, you must let the instructor know no later than one day after the due date and you must submit your assignment within 5 days of the original due date. Failure to follow the policy for any week gives the instructor the right to give you an incomplete for the course. If you fail to follow the policy but still want to complete the course, you will need to contact the instructor to make an arrangement for receiving completion credit.

Evaluation and feedback

No formal test is used as a method of evaluation in this course. Successful participation in and completion of this course is measured by a student’s contributions within the online forums and timely completion and submission of the online exercises. Students should plan to post and respond to the posts of others in order to be considered an active member of the class. It can be expected that an average of 3 to 4 hours per week will be spent reading, contributing to the online forums, and responding to assignments. Assignments will be manually assessed and graded by the instructor. Grades from the instructor will be updated once a week. Feedback will be given to you as discussion replies or private messages via the course system’s email list.

Standards alignment

North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (2009)

  • Goal 4: Teachers facilitate learning for their students.
    • Objective 4.04: Teachers integrate and utilize technology in their instruction.
    • Objective 4.05: Teachers help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Goal 5: Teachers reflect on their practice.
    • Objective 5.03: Teachers function effectively in a complex, dynamic environment.