Teaching Online Overview for Faculty

What You Need To Know To Teach Online

Teaching USU Online courses is slightly different that teaching a class in person. Here's the things you need to know about teaching an online course:


Online courses are scheduled through the Academic Scheduling Office. All courses are approved by Departments, and Statewide Campus AVPs through Service-Now. Once approved courses are uploaded into Banner and assigned CRNs. Online courses are available in all locations and to students out-of-state.

Course Design

The Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI) helps university instructors create and maintain high quality learning environments. They provide access to practical tools, canvas training, and consultation. https://cidi.usu.edu/index

Textbook & Material Orders

Federal legislation requires all course expenses, including textbooks, be published before students can register. Instructors must submit textbook information for their courses every semester. Courses are made available to students after a textbook and materials order has been submitted and processed. See Faculty Course Materials Information for more details.


Students register for Online courses using Banner. Students may be unable to register if the course has not been approved, or if a book order has not been received. Students should be referred to the Registrar’s office for any course registration issues. http://www.usu.edu/registrar/

An instructor can give permission for students to add a course, after wait listing has ended, by sending an email to registrar@usu.edu. The email needs to contain the student’s A# and the CRN for the section the student would like to be added to. 

Student Engagment & Interaction

Federal Requlations require online courses to include 'Regular and Substantive Interaction”. These elements distinguishe “distance education” from correspondence courses, which has important implications for federal financial aid eligibility.

Regular interaction includes engagement between a student and an instructor or instructors by, prior to the student’s completion of a course

  • Providing the opportunity for substantive interactions with the student on a predictable and scheduled basis commensurate with the length of time and the amount of content in the course or competency; and
  • Monitoring the student’s academic engagement and success and ensuring that an instructor is responsible for promptly and proactively engaging in substantive interaction with the student when needed, on the basis of such monitoring, or upon request by the student.

Substantive interaction is engaging students in teaching, learning, and assessment, consistent with the content under discussion, and also includes at least two of the following:

  • Providing direct instruction
  • Assessing or providing feedback on a student’s coursework
  • Providing information or responding to questions about the content of a course or competency
  • Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency
  • Other instructional activities approved by the institution’s or program’s accrediting agency.


Online course materials and exams are distributed to statwide campus locations and certified proctors worldwide through the Materials and Testing Services site (MATS).

Exams given in testing centers must be posted at least 2 days prior to the exam date. Proctored online exams must be password protected in Canvas, and passwords posted at least 2 days prior to the exam date. More information on Materials/Testing can be found at http://testing.usu.edu/faculty/index

Instructors can also use Virtual Online Proctoring with Proctorio. Proctorio is remote proctoring software that records the students exam activity using Audio/Video and screen capture. The recordings are store in Canvas and flagged for suspicious behavior.

Online Course Fee

A $15 per credit course fee is applied to all online courses to sustain current digital technologies and support services required for engaging and effective online learning.

Please make note of this fee in your syllabus.

Course Development

All online course development must meet the standards of the Course Quality Rubric.

Requests for online course development funding will be reviewed each term.


All USU courses have Canvas course space (http://canvas.usu.edu/). Cross-listed online courses are combined into a single Canvas section for ease of grading and content distribution.

Instructional designers from CIDI are available to assist faculty with Canvas tools. http://cidi.usu.edu/