Designing for Online Teaching Success (DOTS)

2021 Spring DOTS Registration is now full. We are accepting participants to the waitlist.

Fall 2021 DOTS Registration will Open July 2021

Spring 2021 Begins Monday, February 15, 2021

The DOTS (Designing for Online Teaching Success) program is designed for doctoral students focused on the professorial offers all Baylor graduate students interested in the theory and practice of designing and teaching online courses the opportunity to learn from four of Baylor’s best.

Facilitating the Spring 2021 certification are

Fulfills the Category 5: Self-Directed Study requirement for the Academy of Teaching and Learning/Graduate School TeaCHE Program

Total Time: 15-20 hours over five weeks

Steps to Completion

  1. Apply to the program – priority acceptance will be granted to fifteen doctoral students. Any open spots will go to Master Students.
  2. Complete five weeklong modules that conclude with a 1-hour online synchronous discussion. These sessions will be held on Mondays at 7:00 pm through Zoom. For description, please see below.
    • Prerequisite (Optional Asynchronous): Mastering Canvas, Week of February 7th
    • Session 1: Mapping your Online Course, February 22nd  
    • Session 2: Online Learning Activities, March 1st  
    • Session 3: Organizing your Course, March 8th  
    • Session 4: Video from Passive to Active, March 15th  
    • Session 5: Developing an Online Learning Community and Faculty Presence, March 22nd  
  3. Attend at least one additional webinar/workshop associated with designing and teaching online courses. Note: This requirement can be completed by attending an event from any one of the following organizations.
    • Baylor Learning Design Tech.ology Series
    • Baylor Academy for Teaching and Learning
    • Online Learning Consortium
    • Coursera/edX/LinkedIn Learning
    • Academic Association
  4. Attend the DOTS Showcase celebration to discuss your triumphs and obstacles, show your portfolio, & get certificate.

When is the DOTS Showcase?

For Spring 2021, it will be through Zoom on Monday, March 29th at 7:00.

Who can participate?

The DOTS program is designed for doctoral students but offered to all graduate students. To ensure a quality experience for all we are limiting each cohort to 15 students. Upon completion, participants will earn a Baylor DOTS Certificate of Completion.

How can I register?

If you have questions, please email the Learning Design team at  Otherwise, you can go straight to the registration link: If you are interested, but unable to attend due to the date and time of the sessions, please email us at and we can add you to the weight list for the Fall 2021 DOTS offering.

Can I withdraw from DOTS?

We will accept withdrawals from DOTS until Monday, February 8, 2021. Due to the limited spots for the DOTS Certificate, we encourage you to complete the program once it starts. If you choose to withdraw after the start of the program, wait-listed graduate students will miss out on the Spring offering.

Module Descriptions

Prerequisite: Canvas Basics (Optional)

If you are new to the Canvas environment then it may be helpful to learn the basics of the LMS before you start thinking about your own course design.  This session will cover: setting a home page, modifying the left-hand navigation menu, selecting course card favorites, understanding files vs my media / media gallery, using modules to organize information, becoming familiar with the grade book, setting notifications, and more.

Module 1: Mapping your Online Course

Your vision is in place. Now it is time to start organizing your course with a course map. This session will explore the benefits of course maps and how they are the foundation of designing a course. They help us ensure that learning builds and scaffolds throughout the course. As we begin constructing our courses, it is important to understand how to calculate total learning time for your course. Faculty new to online course development often overload or underload their courses causing frustrations for students. We will conclude this session by sharing strategies for “Being Baylor” in your online courses.

Module 2: Online Learning Activities

Every course is unique and can be built using a wide variety of learning activities and techniques.  However, there are some basic components that are often found in many online courses so this session will introduce you to some of the popular, common ones.  We will cover discussion boards and look at what makes for a good topic, what the best practices are for managing the discussion, and how to get students engaged and active in them.  Then we will look at ways to assess learning that go beyond traditional tests.  We will provide a rationale for using authentic assessment and provide plenty of ideas.  Rubrics are helpful for these type projects so we will show you how to build & incorporate them as well.

Module 3: Organizing your Course

Well organized courses can reduce student stress. It’s our goal to reduce the administrative and cognitive load for students, which allows our students to better focus on learning the content at hand. We will explore strategies for organizing your course that builds upon the work you completed in Module 1 and 2. We will discuss the importance of using a consistent course structure, naming conventions and flow that focuses students on mastering the course content.

Module 4: Video: From Passive to Active

Using video in your online course can make it come alive!  Video is great for creating instructor presence, delivering lecture content, holding live meetings, facilitating group work, and engaging your students.  Through the use of video quizzing techniques, they can become interactive too.  This session will look at both asynchronous approaches and synchronous approaches using popular tools like Zoom.  We will cover tips for creating lecture videos using iPads, tablets, and whiteboards.  We will examine tools including Kaltura and alternatives to screen capturing along with more robust editing tools and options for captioning.

Module 5: Developing an Online Learning Community and Faculty Presence

Connectedness is critically important to student success in online courses. Our online students articulate through annual success surveys how important engagement is to their success. Online engagement manifests itself through four key interactions: instructor to student, student to student, student to content and student to technology. We will explore strategies for build a learning community that promotes connectedness through the four key interactions.