This is a working group designed to share and promote effective online teaching, learning and scholarship.  To that end, participation in this course will model a fully online course.  All materials will live on the Web, all interactions will happen on the Web*, all creation of knowledge/artifacts/course materials will take place digitally.  This syllabus is a prime example; a working group would not traditionally have a syllabus, but as the work of ETM is designed to aid online learning, this is a perfect opportunity to share how we can positively affect learning through modeling in online space.

You are here by choice, but by being here you are making a commitment to our group.  There will be weeks more difficult to engage than other weeks; your students will have a similar situation.  I encourage you to engage the group each week.  This working group is about both building your page and supporting the work of others…to that end, there are not ‘assignments’ but rather work and movement and effort, and if we are engaging one another we are furthering our community, our commitment and our competence.

Each week I will treat like a week in a course from the instructional design perspective: on the OTWG WordPress page there will be an announcement for the upcoming week, and the new week’s material will be presented.  There will be various learning artifacts to engage based around a topic. The learning artifacts are designed to aid you in your production of materials for your site.

If you have any questions about this course (those can be content-based, technical, etc.), please contact Rolin or ETM directly.


(a) Required text: Every text for this course will come from the Open Web, available on the WordPress page either as a .pdf or as a link to another page.  I am a huge advocate for Open Education Resources; students are stuck with skyrocketing education costs and little chance of relief, so the least we as instructors can do is to mediate their textbook costs.  In the spirit of good modeling, everything here is free, and there is a likelihood that you can find excellent resources through somewhere such as the OER Repository for your students.

(b) Background Readings, Recommended Works:  I will provide further reading/viewing/texts at the end of various artifacts and moments, as well as in the resources section.  You are welcome to explore as interested.

(c) Copyright Notice:  As this is an online group, we will access materials online and you will build materials for an online audience.  The laws for copyright and fair use in a digital space differ from those for a traditional course…that difference gets more complicated with developing a web space that is not entirely for teaching a course.  The SPU Library webpage on copyright is an excellent primer on the rules for digitizing content from a copyrighted source, specifically the TEACH Act.  In short, there are provisions for use of copyrighted material in an online educational context as long as it meets certain use and production guidelines; using such material needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis.  We will spend time looking at Fair Use not as a workaround but as an opportunity.

Participation Policy

You are volunteering to be a part of this group, but volunteering is not the opposite of commitment; you have made a choice and need to keep up with your choice.  As you would want a student to engage your courses weekly, I would ask for you to make that promise to yourself.  Things get difficult, but making dedicated time, if even just one hour in a week, will keep this project in the front of your mind.

Technology Needs

This is a fully-online experience, so your computer will need a decent processing speed and you will need reliable Internet.  This course will require no pay-to-play technology other than your computer; the software you use is either offered for free via CIS (Microsoft Office), free to download, or embedded in existing spaces (such as the text features of Blackboard).  It is not expected that you know all of this software, but if there is a title or concept you are unfamiliar with, please reach out and I can provide a brief primer; we will go over basic purpose and use during the course

Software we will use:

  • Microsoft Office
  • TechSmith Relay
  • WordPress
  • Videoconferencing Tools

Software you could use:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Nonlinear Editing Software (Audacity, iMovie)
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Web-based Analytics