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Information for faculty developing & teaching online courses

About Developing Online Courses and Teaching Online

Web-based courses can offer solutions to some of the challenges students are facing. The push towards lifelong learning and ongoing professional development combined with the need to accommodate an increase in student diversity suggests that a different mode of delivery is necessary.  The added flexibility for faculty is a bonus!

Web-based courses have shown the ability to improve the flexibility and quality of education by:

  • Increasing access to a wider variety of resources and online tools
  • Encouraging students to be responsible for their own learning by promoting an active learning environment
  • Increasing student interaction and a diversity of opinion - the loudest student doesn’t get the most air-time and more thoughtful students have the ability consider their opinions prior to sharing them.
  • Providing frequent and timely feedback – directly in Blackboard.


If you haven’t been using Blackboard for your classes, a new online course may require you to learn a few skills or you may need to develop some resources – like a bank of test questions which can be randomized rather than a set of only a few questions that make up a current written quiz.  You should consider your current tools and see how they can be reused or adjusted for an online environment.


Faculty can expect a number of benefits to teaching an online class:

  • Improved communications with students and the ability to easily communicate with groups of students.
  • Making routine information and resources available throughout the course.
  • Reduced assessment and marking time by using Blackboard to accept, mark and provide feedback to students.
  • Increased ability to quickly track and document the time a student spends logged into a course or resource, submission of assignments and the participation in activities.
  • Course content provides the students with a study resource as they can go back and revisit it at any time during the course.
  • The ability to consistently review lessons and resources to ensure clear understanding of concepts, which can be especially valuable to SAS or ESL students
  • Easy access to update or amend content quickly

Final Exams for Online Courses

The decision of the type and format of the final exam rests solely with the instructor and their department. 

Teaching Online at Trent University

At Trent, all hiring of course instructors is done via the respective department.

Getting Help

Pedagogical suggestions and best practice discussions are available from the Trent Online Team.  Ask us for a consultation!

Technical Assistance for Blackboard is available on the Trent IT Blackboard Site.