Teaching Online Faculty Development Model

A Focused Approach to Designing and Delivering High Quality Distance Learning

 FD Model

Teaching Online Tool Essentials (TOL4100)


TOL4100 is designed to help you learn to navigate and become familiar with the most-used tools in Blackboard for designing web-enhanced, hybrid and online courses. This course offers a basic overview of the Blackboard Learn system presented in six learning modules:

  • Blackboard Introduction
  • Adding Content
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Assessment Tools
  • Grade Center

After completing this course you should be able to:

  • Navigate, build, and customize your Blackboard course.
  • Add and organize course content.
  • Communicate within Blackboard using announcements and email tools.
  • Build collaboration spaces for students using the Discussion Board and Blackboard Groups
  • Build and customize assignments, assessments, SafeAssignments in Blackboard. 
  • Organize and grade in the Grade Center.

There are two main sections of this course:



The Portfolio section of the course details the instructions for the Blackboard development (DEV) course you will create and use to demonstrate your mastery of the tools in Blackboard.


The Learning Modules consist of tutorials and practice activities that will help you complete the portfolio assignments.

Self-paced course; register and start at any time. 6 – 8 hours.

Online Course Delivery (TOL5100)


This course was designed primarily for part-time faculty. Participants learn about the important pedagogical, logistical, and technological issues involved in delivering effective online courses.

  • Six-week asynchronous course with live instructor; register and start in any semester.
  • 25 hours
  • Prerequisite: Teaching Online Tool Essentials (TOL 4100)
  • Participation is based on chair nomination. 
  • Compensation ($1500 stipend) is available for participants upon successful course completion and certification will be awarded.

Teaching Online Seminar (TOL6100) 

The goal of TOL6100 is to prepare instructors to develop and deliver high-quality distance learning. In order to meet that goal, instructors need quality training on common pedagogical, logistical, and technological strategies. This intensive seminar covers pedagogy, course design, instructional strategies, communication strategies, and online assessment.  The prerequisite course TOL 4100 Blackboard Online Workshop (online) must be completed prior to the start date of the TOL 6100 course.


TOL6100 is offered in a hybrid format that includes a face-to-face kickoff day, five online modules, a face-to-face roundtable discussion (half day), and face-to-face culminating presentation day.  Throughout the seminar, participants will participate in individual instructional design consultations - including graphic and media development support. 

  • Facilitated cohort in a blended format.
  • 40 hours
  • Typically offered 2x a year.
  • Call for proposals  announced in early Fall.
  • Compensation is available to participants upon successful completion and certification will be awarded.
**note- until 2015, TOL6100 included both the training to develop and deliver an online course and the course development itself. Course development support has now been moved to a separate course- TOL7100.

Teaching Online Seminar (TOL7100) 

TOL7100** is a self-paced online seminar course designed to assist faculty with their development of a high-quality distance learning course. The objective of TOL7100 is that participants design and develop an online course and complete a successful Quality Matters course review within one year of TOL7100 start date. **TOL6100 is a required prerequisite.

  • In contrast to TOL6100, participants in TOL7100 are not required to attend face-to-face seminars or submit assignments. 
  • TOL7100 is organized into three phases (Getting Started, Design and Development, and Course Review). Each phase provides participants with basic guidance to support the course development. 
  • Participants may choose a guided track in which they work closely with an instructional designer (ID) to create a Course Development Plan that contains benchmarks and deadlines, or they may choose an independent track in which there are occasional meetings with an ID to discuss course development issues, but the overall course development process is self-managed. 

Faculty may apply at any point after TOL6100 completion for entry into TOL7100.  A maximum of 50 applicants will be accepted in each  fiscal year. Chair support to offer the course in a distance learning format is required.   

Ongoing Professional Development

The CIRT Events schedule provides additional opportunities for ongoing professional development from CIRT staff in addition to webinars from national organizations including the Educause Learning Initiative, Academic Impressions, the Sloan Foundation, and the New Media Consortium.


National Certification- Master Online Teacher (MOT)

Alumni of TOL 6100 may apply for a seat  in the national iON Master Online Teacher certificate program. This rigorous 18-month program recognizes and certifies faculty, staff, and administrators who achieve a measurable level of knowledge related to online course design, online instruction, and other issues related to online teaching and learning. A limited number of spots will be funded each year and stipends available to participants.  Faculty who achieve  national certification are expected to provide service to the university community in the form of mentoring, course review, and/or workshop delivery. Contact CIRT for more information.


National Certification provided by the Illinois Online Network.