Teaching Online Together: SPOT-ON

Teaching Online Together and SPOT-ON

Course Design for Winter and Spring 2021


CTAL, in partnership with the Library, Museums, and Press and UD-Online (Professional and Continuing Studies), offers two options to support instructors designing or redesigning courses for Winter 2021 or Spring 2021. Teaching Online Together (TOT) is designed for those instructors (including graduate students) who will be teaching Winter 2021 Accelerated Courses, while SPOT-ON is open to all. Read more below to choose the program that is right for you.

SPOT-ON: Self-Paced Option for Teaching Online Now

What are the benefits of a self-paced open course?

An open Canvas course site is more dynamic than a static website,  and allows us to present our course content in a way that looks much like your Canvas courses would to enrolled students (minus a few features like the discussion board). You’ll be able to access our course materials, watch videos, and review any content as many times as you need throughout the coming weeks. If you need targeted support, you’ll find easy ways to reach out for assistance.


SPOT-ON is a self-paced, “open” Canvas version of the Teaching Online Together program. Just like in TOT, participants will be able to review the principles of backward design and learn how to apply them in an online setting. Our program includes structured self-reflection grounded by the specific context of your course, and well as an opportunity to review and expand your approach to teaching online. Many of these elements will help you develop flexibility and intention beyond a single course and throughout all of your teaching be it online, hybrid or in-person. 

SPOT-ON contains 5 instructional modules, and 3 resource modules.

Instructional Modules

  • Backward Design
  • Authentic Assessment
  • Scaffolding and Sequencing
  • Communication and Alignment
  • Access and Equity

Resource Modules

  • Student Resources
  • Resources for Online Instructors
  • Course Materials

You can return to pages as many times as you want and access modules in any order.

The Teaching Online Together program is co-designed and supported by the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning, the UD Library, Museums and Press, and UD Online.

Is SPOT-ON the right opportunity for you?

SPOT-ON is great for instructors in a variety of teaching situations. Here are some questions that SPOT-ON might help you answer:

  • What do I do about my traditionally administered final exam (e.g. Scantron sheets…) in an online or hybrid class?
  • How can I organize my learning activities to adapt to different teaching situations in the fall?
  • I haven’t chosen a textbook yet; how can I figure out what to do online if I don’t have a textbook adopted?
  • What kinds of student engagement work best in Canvas? 
  • How can I customize Canvas to reflect my teaching style?
  • How can my students productively collaborate in an online environment?

Whether you are considering joining SPOT-ON or not, you already have access to the customized this SPOT-ON Course Development Checklist to see where your course currently stands and where additional support would be most beneficial. 

How do I join SPOT-ON?

SPOT-ON is open to all UD faculty members with teaching responsibilities, as well as graduate students and postdocs. This self-paced program is an open Canvas course and can be accessed using the this link:


Comments or Questions should be directed to Matthew Trevett-Smith, Director, Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning mtrevett@udel.edu.


TOT: Teaching Online Together

About Teaching Online Together Fall 2020 (For those teaching in Winter 2021)

Teaching Online Together is an asynchronous peer-supported program designed to give instructors the experience of being a student in an online course. During this 5 week program, participants will complete 5 structured learning units that cover backward design, authentic assessment, student engagement, accessibility, and technology tools. Each week, participants will meet for a synchronous debrief session to discuss challenges, successes, and provide support within a community of other educators. Throughout the TOT program, support is available from professional staff. Upon completion of the program, participants can receive detailed course-site or syllabus review.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this 5-week program you will have:


  • Applied the principles of backward design to your course design
  • Designed the major elements of your course syllabus
  • Created engaging student learning opportunities best-suited to an accelerated course
  • Completed the design of 1 or 2 Canvas Modules for your online course
Is TOT the right opportunity for you?

This session of TOT will focus specifically on designing accelerated winter courses. All who teach are welcome, and graduate students who have no prior teaching experience online are encouraged to register. You must be an instructor of record for Winter 2021 to join.

How do I join TOT?

TOT is open to all UD instructors with teaching responsibilities, as well as graduate students and postdocs, who will be serving as instructors of record at UD for a Winter 2021 course. This program will launch in Canvas on Monday October 19th. The resources provided in the TOT Canvas site will remain available throughout the 2020 Fall semester and 2021 Winter Session.

Register here.

Comments or Questions should be directed to Matthew Trevett-Smith, Director, Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning mtrevett@udel.edu.

SPOT ON Checklist

Whether you are considering joining TOT, SPOT-ON, or neither at this time, you already have access to the customized this SPOT-ON Course Development Checklist to see where your course currently stands and where additional support would be most beneficial.


Comments from
Past Participants

Just having a sense of community in those last weeks of course prep was incredibly powerful, in addition to the program itself.

I will be more intentional about my outcomes and presenting things in a way that clearly describes the expectations and alignment with learning outcomes. I am following the Canvas template too to assist with this and will definitely make the online learning experience better for the students. I liked the structure and details provided to help me organize my course in Canvas and to ultimately teach better.

Learning how to engage students in better authentic assessments [was most valuable.] Learning new ways to rethink assessment in an online environment. The leadership team is incredible and everything is valuable!

I have taught online several times, but the SPOT-ON course allowed me to think more strategically and methodologically about how I was preparing for the fall.