ACUE Effective Online Teaching Practices

What is the ACUE course?

This 25-week course prepares instructors in evidence-based teaching practices proven through independently-validated research to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. Faculty who complete the course earn a nationally recognized Certificate in Effective College Instruction, the only college teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE). This course is delivered in an online/remote format through a cohort of your USU colleagues, and is professionally facilitated by Marilyn Cuch, Lecturer in TEAL (Unitah Basin Campus) and an ACUE credentialed educator.

Why should I apply for the ACUE course?

We are excited to offer our instructors a professional development opportunity as part of our commitment to teaching excellence and student success. Through our partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), the Office of Empowering Teaching Excellence is able to offer 30 instructors the opportunity to enroll in ACUE's course on Effective Online Teaching Pracitces. The ACUE course aligns with the architecture of engagement1 allowing you to simultaneosly engage in instructional development, and implement the principles taught directly into your course throughout the year. A growing body of literature indicates that effective teaching improves students’ critical thinking and persistence and that “when faculty improve their teaching, students learn more, and their performance on course work improves” (p 125)2. In short, the ACUE course provides a professional development opportunity for our instructors to learn and implement evidence-based teaching practices3 that will in turn improve help our students to be successful in the classroom.

The benefits of completing the ACUE course are:

  • earn a nationally recognized certificate for online instruction
  • improve your teaching approach to better support student success in your course
  • document your teaching improvement activities for professional development
  • take on a mentor role in supporting teaching excellence for other USU instructors

The course addresses all of the core competencies defined in ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework© and is organized into five major areas of practice:

  • Designing an Effective Course
  • Establishing a Productive Learning Environment
  • Using Active Learning Strategies
  • Promoting Higher Order Thinking
  • Assessing to Inform Instruction and Promote Learning

The ACUE curriculum is appropriate for all instructors who teach, and in any discipline. Of the thousands of faculty who have enrolled in ACUE’s courses across the country: 

  • 94% found the course content relevant to their work
  • 94% found the course helpful in refining their teaching practice
  • 88% would recommend the course to a colleague

What does the course cost?

The Office of Empowering Teaching Excellence along with collaborators in Academic & Instructional Services have funded a partnership with ACUE to offer this course to a cohort of 30 instructors.

  • This opportunity is offered at no cost to you or to your department ($1500 value)
  • Faculty who complete the course will earn the Certificate in Effective College Instruction and earn digital badges, which can be added to your curriculum vitae, used in online teaching portfolios, and displayed on LinkedIn profiles or webpages as a sign of your achievement


What is the time commitment & expectations?

Participating in the ACUE course requires significant time commitment:

  • Course begins the last week of August 2021 
  • The cohort will complete one module per week over 25 weeks during the Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 semesters
  • Internal ACUE research indicates that instructors spend approximately 2-3 hours of activity per week, on average, in the course

Participation in the ACUE course includes the following expectations:

  • complete all 25 modules in the ACUE course
  • participate in monthly meetings (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022) focusing on discussion of content and experiences, and will be facilitated over Zoom
  • implement teaching practices throughout the academic year
  • take on a mentor role in supporting teaching excellence for other USU instructors


What are the ACUE course eligibility requirements? 

To apply for the ACUE course you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • current instructor at any USU campus
    • tenure track, non-tenure track, adjunct, or graduate student 
    • teaching a class at USU in academic year 2021-2022
  • engaged in improving teaching practice*
  • committed to improving student learning and student success at USU

*Preference will be given to those enrolled in ETE10 

We are seeking a cohort of 30 instructors from each of the eight colleges with appropriate representation from USU campuses across the state.




[1] Thurston, T. N. (2020). Architecture of Engagement: Autonomy-Supportive Leadership for Instructional Improvement. [Doctoral dissertation, Utah State University]. Retrieved from:

[2] Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C. A., Rutz, C., & Willett, G. (2016). Faculty development and student learning: Assessing the connections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

[3] Bright, J., Eliahoo, R., & Pokorny, H. (2016). Professional Development. In H. Pokorny & D. Warren (Eds.), Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education (pp. 206-226). Sage.


ACUE Program Contact

Marilyn Cuch
ACUE Course Facilitator

Please email ACUE application questions to the ETE Team

No longer accepting applications for future cohorts.