Designing for Online Teaching Success (DOTS)

The Baylor Learning Design Team in partnership with the Academy for Teaching and Learning has designed the DOTS (Designing for Online Teaching Success) program for doctoral students interested in learning the theory and practice of designing and teaching high quality online courses.


2022 Spring DOTS Registration is Full. We are accepting participants to the waitlist. Thank you!

Facilitating the Spring 2022 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 six weeks

Steps to Completion

  1. Apply to the program – priority acceptance will be granted to fifteen doctoral students. Any remaining open spots will go to Master Students.
  2. Complete five week-long modules that include a 1-hour online synchronous discussion. These sessions will be held on Mondays at 7:00 pm through Zoom. For description, please see below.
    • Session 1: Building Online Community and Connecting with Your Students, February 7th
    • Session 2: Mapping your Online Course, February 14th
    • Session 3: Online Learning Activities, February 21st  
    • Session 4: Video from Passive to Active, February 28th
    • No Session during Spring Break  
    • Session 5: Organizing your Course, March 14th  
    • Session 6: Capstone Celebration and Concluding Reflections, March 21s
  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

Who can participate?

The DOTS program is designed for doctoral students, but any remaining spots after doctoral students have enrolled may be offered to masters students. To ensure a quality experience for all we are limiting each cohort to 15 students. Upon completion, participants will earn a Baylor DOTS Digital Badge of Completion through Credly.

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 wait list for the Fall 2022 DOTS offering.

Can I withdraw from DOTS?

We will accept withdrawals from DOTS up until the first day of classes for the semester DOTS is offered. 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

Module 1: Building Online Community and Connecting with Your Students

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 building a learning community that promotes connectedness through these four key interactions. As part of this effort, we will create introductory videos that will help establish a culture of engagement and connection in the online classroom.

Module 2: 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 3: 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. 

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 dive further into Kaltura and explore alternatives to screen capturing along with more robust editing tools and options for captioning. Now that you have created multiple forms of assessment, we will show you how to build & incorporate rubrics into your online course to facilitate grading and measure outcomes.

Module 5: 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 Modules 1–4. We will discuss the importance of using a consistent course structure, naming conventions and flow that focuses students on mastering the course content.