Hundreds of courses use the OpenLab every semester, and more than a thousand faculty have taught with the OpenLab over the years. But, even if you’re an old hand, distance education can present special challenges. This section is designed to help you meet the recommended best practices for teaching online in the following areas.

Preparing Course Content

  • Finding digital materials
  • Complying with copyright law
  • Considering accessibility
  • Posting materials on the OpenLab
  • Designing assignments
  • Complying with the credit hour policy

Communicating with Your Students

  • Things to remember
  • Regular communications
  • Asynchronous communications
  • Synchronous communications

Designing and Receiving Assignments

  • Things to consider
  • Assignment formats
  • Ways to receive assignments
  • Copyright and Accessibility

Providing Feedback and Grades

  • Grading and comments
  • Quizzes and polls
  • Student support
  • Student feedback

Getting Students Started

  • Signing Up
  • Joining Your Course
  • Introducing posts and comments

Best Practices Checklist

Finally, there’s a Best Practices Checklist to help you evaluate your approach.  

Questions? Need help?

OpenLab Community Team members have experience in open digital pedagogy as well as technical know-how, and are happy to consult with you.

Contact the OpenLab team at