Fall 2016 Session:
Saturday, 9/24/2016 - Sunday, 11/27/2016
"The iTeach Essentials course allowed me to return to the classroom as a student. Looking back over the entire course, I was impressed with the careful way that you constructed the syllabus and each module, created a model for the concepts of the course. The concepts that you taught were modeled - scaffolding, authentic assignments, group work, faculty presence, etc. It was this really the "whole" of this entire experience, that was most significant, in that it provided a clear path to creating an online class in Blackboard. I was very appreciative and awed by the sheer amount and quality of resources of all kinds that you provided and the rigor of the course."
"This iTeach Essentials course was very thorough and information-packed. I learned a lot over the last nine weeks. All of the material covered in the course will allow me to better serve my students while achieving NCCC's objectives. The course heavily concentrates on pedagogy.ï¿½This course exposed me to information that I probably would not have sought out on my own."
"Completing the iTeach Essentials program not only helped me develop course design and instructional strategies for online teaching, it also helped me rethink my on ground classes, too. From engaging students at the onset of each unit to assessing the outcomes, from 1000-point grading system to reorganizing group work, from promoting discussion to questioning strategy, and from course content to transitions iTeach Essentials helped me reevaluate my approach to teaching in all settings! It is both rigorous and worthwhile."
"At the beginning of iTeach, I was teacher centered in my viewpoint of how on-line teaching would work. When I became aware of student centered education as the focus of on-line education, I needed a paradigm shift from my usual structure, to a new structure. I wasn't sure what that structure would be in the first few weeks of iTeach, but as the lessons built upon themselves, I was able to see what I needed to do, to modify my teaching to be successful online."
About iTeach Essentials
The iTeach Essentials course is a
9-week, fully-online learning opportunity for faculty that was originally
developed by the Connecticut Community College
system. The course is targeted specifically at faculty who are
interested in teaching fully online courses.
Online teaching is not about knowing which buttons to push in
Blackboard. Although technical proficiency supports online teaching,
the ability to communicate effectively online, facilitate community
and interaction, design effective online assignments, learning
objectives, and course structure are paramount to the success of
online learning. Topics in this course include both pedagogical as
well as technical best practices of online teaching and classroom
Who should take this course?
This course is targeted at instructors would
like to teach fully-online courses. Participants have included those
who have already been using Blackboard in their on-ground or hybrid
courses, as well as instructors who have been teaching online but
have never really had the opportunity to explore best practices of
online teaching. It is not an introductory course in how to use
the Blackboard course management system.
What kind of time commitment is expected?
This course is a
rigorous professional development activity that will require
significant effort on your part. Although the class takes place
completely online, it is not a self-paced course; there are always
both discussion and assignment deadlines throughout each week of the
course, and you will be required to submit assignments, complete
practice tasks in an assigned Blackboard practice section, and post
substantive messages and responses to discussion boards and journals
on a weekly basis. Participants can expect to spend at least 9 hours
per week on the required readings, activities, and discussions.
However, the actual time required is dependent to a great extent on
prior technical experience with Blackboard--please review the course
Please be sure to carefully consider your
other professional and personal demands; it may not be advisable to
register for this class when you anticipate major personal
obligations or commitments (weddings, surgeries, personal or school
vacations, etc.) that will result in several days at a time when you
will be unable to complete your online work. If you don't think
you can complete the requirements within the stated period, please
wait and register for a different session in the future.
What are the goals of the iTeach Essentials course?
- Provide faculty with the opportunity to experience online
learning as a student, rather than as an instructor, so they
have a more personal perspective on the actual challenges of
- Introduce faculty to theory, as well as many practical
strategies, related to online teaching and learning, and to
share their experiences, ideas, and insights with fellow iTeach
participants in a fully online setting.
- Model best practices of online teaching, course design,
classroom management, and online communication and interaction,
for participating faculty.
- Provide faculty with the opportunity to apply their new
skills immediately, by completing challenging hands-on
projects in an individually assigned practice course section in
What does "Fully Online" mean?
- There are NO in-person or on-ground classroom meetings or
hands-on labs. The "Start Date" of the course is the first date
the you must log into Blackboard Vista--that's the day when
the course will be "opened" and available to participants. You
will access the course via myCommNet and then access the course
shell in Blackboard.
- There are NO "synchronous" (i.e. "real-time") phone
discussions or chat sessions--all interactions take place online asynchronously, via discussion boards, journals, etc.
- All course readings, videos, assignments, etc. are delivered
online. Participants will also be assigned their own "practice
shell" in Blackboard, where they will complete the hands-on
- This is a "facilitated" course--meaning that each section will
have two individuals who will interact with students, answer
questions, and review and provide feedback on gradable discussion
posts and assignments.
What are the course prerequisites?
You already possess all of the skills listed in the Essential Pre-Blackboard computer and Internet skills website, AND...
You have a basic familiarity with how to use and navigate the Bb Learn interface by having used it to "web-enhance" an on-ground
classroom based course, OR you have a solid technical foundation in a comparable learning management system.
Examples of this level of familiarity could include: Knowledge of how to add content areas and tools to a Blackboard course menu
and re-arrange the course menu, know how to upload files to Blackboard (and perhaps other types of content or resources, turn Edit
Mode ON/OFF, and ideally you have used at least one or two different Blackboard tools, such as Discussions or Messages.
Prior experience having taught a hybrid or fully-online course in a learning management system is always helpful, but not required.
If you do not meet the pre-requisites listed above, but you feel that you DO have the technical skills necessary to participate in the course, we strongly recommend that you talk it over with the local distance learning staff person at your own institution first, or contact CTDLC and we can put you in touch with one of the instructors.
What are the technical (computer/hardware/software, etc.) requirements?
Who contributed to the development of the iTeach Essentials course?
Please see our list of Course Contributors.
Contact for more information:
iTeach Essentials Coordinator