The Online Learning Essentials (OLE) provides training on a fundamental understanding of online teaching. These ideas are critical for both synchronous and asynchronous teaching styles, or a hybrid of the two. A five-unit structure that adheres to the best standards and practices available to date covers aspects of course development, design, and delivery. This course also gives you a firm and clear understanding of the components that the EdTech Leadership Council (ETLC) evaluates for course evaluation and certification. Instructors are assisted throughout the course design process. OLE is delivered in an online mix mode via Blackboard.

Course Structure

The Online Learning Initiative course is organized into 6 Units, and each unit is in its own folder in the OLI Course along with a suggested timeline. They are meant to be followed sequentially, with the ultimate goal of building an online course that has the necessary content, features, tools, and structures that make it easy for students to navigate as well as interact with the instructor. We recommend that you have one of your Blackboard course sections open as you travel through this course to build and/or revise as you proceed.

At a glance, these are the six units of this course:


Unit 0 – Setting the Groundwork: It is important for you to be familiar with and/or regularly review the course development guidelines as they cover the full scope of components found in courses following best practices.  You will also be asked to fill out a pre-survey.

Unit 1– Defining Expectations: This unit covers what can be considered the administrative requirements of a course that helps guide students through to the course goals.

Unit 2 – Resources & Support/Course Evaluation: Here are resources to help students with their online courses and their learning career at Hostos in general.


Unit 3 – Course Design & Environment: A course should be structured in a way that makes it easy for students to navigate and follow without confusion. They should know where the content and assessments are posted without needing to ask the instructor or Help Desk.

Unit 4 – Interaction & Engagement: How do you keep students engaged in an online course, where the students may never face the instructor or each other in-person? There are many ways to keep students active and give them just as many if not more opportunities to participate than in an in-person class.


Unit 5 – Assessment & Feedback: Being able to track progress in real-time through assessments and feedback is critical for the online student who may not have the opportunity to meet the instructor in-person. Once you complete Unit 5, you will be asked to complete the Post-Survey. After that, you will receive the Course Completion Certificate.

In the spirit of modeling asynchronous learning, each unit contains self-paced activities: readings, discussion boards, and course self-assessment in the Course Evaluation System.


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