Essentials for teaching and learning online

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Course Overview

The role of teaching in a blended or online context involves a mix of planning, delivering and assessing, both in relation to what you teach, the way you teach it, and how you interact with your learners.

This short online course is specifically aimed at those who do not have a background in teaching, and aims to explain best practice, underpinned by research and pedagogical theory.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at those who are new to teaching online in HEI environments, particularly from an industry or professional background, and those working in professional education settings. It aims to highlight those aspects considered essential to get you started on your teaching journey. The course offers theoretical background to best practice in teaching and learning, along with practical strategies and resources to help teachers in the online environment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Define key terms associated with online learning, including specific teaching strategies.
  • List some reasons why it is important to know your learners, and how they learn.
  • Describe different teaching approaches for online and blended environments, and how they could be implemented in your own context.
  • List best practices for assessment and feedback in your context.
  • Recognise where to locate institutional and professional development information, including academic standards and processes, to support your role in your HEI.

Syllabus Outline

The course is organised into four units:

  1. What is online learning?
  2. The learning environment
  3. Assessment and feedback
  4. Academic Administration

Course Delivery

This fully online course will take approximately 7 – 7.5 hours to complete. The structure of the course includes:

  • approximately 4 hours of self-directed lessons as outlined in the syllabus above;
  • approximately 3 hours of tasks accompanying the lessons, to be completed in a downloadable workbook.
  • a half hour webinar discussion at the conclusion of the course

This workbook provides a space to reflect on practical applications of the content, and note any useful ideas and resources to which you may return throughout your teaching career. In addition to the workbook, at the end of the course you will have a checklist of practical academic issues relating to your module delivery, to discuss with your course director or module leader.


The content and tasks are designed to be completed at your own pace, with a view to the course being fully covered three weeks after the start date. At this point there will be a brief meeting with the course tutor and other participants for a short discussion of the ideas and concepts covered in the content and resources.

Course Structure

Entry Requirements

Participants are expected to have a primary degree and to be working in the delivery of online education and training.


On completion of the course, participants will receive a University Certificate of Attendance. This course is not credit bearing.

Further information

For further information on this course please email your Institution’s contact point (for UL, MIC or TUS).


Developed by the REAP Project, a collaboration between:

  • University of Limerick
  • Mary Immaculate College
  • Technological University of the Shannon

and funded under the HEA Innovation and Transformation 2018 call.

Creative commons

“The Essentials of Teaching and Learning online” has been developed by the REAP Project , a collaboration between University of Limerick, Technological University of the Shannon and Mary Immaculate College and funded by the HEA Innovation and Transformation Fund (2018).  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons [CC-BY-NC-SA] 4.0 International License.