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Top 10 Free Training Courses for Online Teachers

Free Online Teacher Training CoursesWhether you’re new to distance learning or an experienced online teacher, you can find free online training resources to fit your needs.

Are you a “face to face” classroom teacher considering shifting to online education?

Or are you an online teacher interested in the latest technology to make your online courses more effective?

For example, some online schools offer free training modules to help campus-based teachers learn how to transition to cyber-classrooms. Other organizations offer tips on designing online classes and teaching with technology.

10 Free Courses for Online Teachers

1) TeachOnline
Michigan State University’s Virtual University Design and Technology website offers text-based lessons in topics including pedagogy and best practices, online course content, enlivening techniques, course structure and design, and hybrid courses.
2) Learning to Teach Online Video & PDF LessonsThe Learning to Teach Online project has been developed by COFA Online, an academic unit at the College of Fine Arts, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. It is designed to be practical and easy to access for time-poor teachers. The video- and PDF-based episodes each examine specific successful online teaching strategies froxm many different disciplines, offering tips, guidance and pointing out the potential pitfalls to both novice and experienced online teachers. Best of all, the more than 50 lessons can be accessed for free through ITunes.

3) Thinking About Putting Your Class Online?

This University of Pittsburgh videocast discusses online course planning and design, interaction, giving students feedback, assessment, getting feedback from students, and new technologies.

4) Promising Practices in Online Teaching 

Originally developed for Texas Woman’s University, this course includes modules showing how to design a course, along with explanations of best practices for distance education.

5) Visual Design for Online Course Content

Also from Texas Woman’s University, this course gives tips to help you successfully create the navigation, layout, colors and design of your course content.

6) Teacher Training Videos

This step-by-step video resource shows teachers how to use technological tools such as Blackboard, wikis, online surveys, podcasting and more.

7) Effective Online Teaching – Faculty Quick Tips

Seven Pace University online instructors give their best advice about being an effective online educator. Go to iTunes U’s Pace University page and select “Faculty Contributions” to access these videos.

8) MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)

MERLOT provides a large, peer-reviewed collection of online curricula and other resources, as well as forums and publications aimed at online educators. Search the MERLOT database for “distance learning” to find links to material to help you plan and design effective online classes.

9) Free Textbooks for Online Courses – Community Colleges Online

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (OER) is a great site that assists faculty who are developing online courses for community or junior colleges in finding and utilizing free online textbooks, learning modules, and creative commons resources for distance learning courses.

10) Sloan Consortium Effective Practices

The Sloan Consortium studies and funds online education. The consortium’s Effective Practices site is a way for online educators to share techniques, strategies, and practices in online education that have worked for them. Practices are peer-reviewed before being put on the site.’s Motivating & Retaining Adult Learners Online: A Journal of Research Articles and Practitioner’s Tips

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