Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Record number of Illinois higher education professors and K-12 teachers take UIS course on teaching online

The University of Illinois Springfield ION Professional eLearning Program’s Overview of Online Instruction course has seen a large jump in enrollment, as more Illinois higher education professors and K-12 teachers are wanting to learn how to better teach online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Course enrollment jumped from 793 students in 2019 to 1,819 students so far in 2020. Just recently, 1,153 students completed the course during the April to July term.

“We’re glad that educators are turning to UIS to learn how to teach online,” said Vickie Cook, UIS executive director of online, professional, and engaged learning. “UIS has been recognized as a national leader in online learning. We believe that we are all stronger when we stand together.”

The Overview of Online Instruction course explores topics, such as accessibility, course design, learning objectives, communication, multimedia use, micro learning, instructor presence, feedback and equity.

Instructors from schools, such as Oakton Community College, McHenry County College, Kankakee Community College and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have completed the course. ION created special sections for UIC and McHenry County College.

A UIC faculty member who took the course, said “ION eased my concerns about online education, demonstrated my practices in previous teaching and provided me with new insights on how to conduct effective online education.”

Another faculty member added, “I think that this experience gave me valuable insight into what it may feel like as a student taking my online class in the fall.”

The Overview of Online Instruction course was originally designed for higher education faculty, but has been updated for fall to include relevant content for K-12 teachers.

“Sharing our expertise in online learning with K-12 educators is an extension of our promise of world class teaching,” Cook said. “More and more K-12 teachers are being asked to teach online due to COVID-19. We want to make sure they’re prepared to enter the virtual classroom.”

The next term for the Overview of Online Instruction course will begin Aug. 24. Students can learn more about the course, register and pay online at

ION is also holding two free webinars for K-12 educators:
  • Aug. 6 2:30 p.m. - Leveraging Google Classroom to Save Time and Be More Efficient
  • Aug. 13 10 a.m. - Zoom Tips and Tricks to Use with Your Students

No comments: