Join a Teaching Circle

One of the best ways to brainstorm and problem-solve about effective teaching and technology is to join a small group of like-minded colleagues. Joining a teaching circle will give you a chance to discuss topics such as Panopto and Zoom, remote course design, or how to increase student engagement. It's not too late! You can join at any time by clicking on the the blue button and completing the information form.

Fill out the information form

You’ll be able to form your own group or we’ll assign you to a group of faculty that share your interests.

We are also developing a list of faculty “experts” or liaisons willing to help their colleagues with the pedagogical side of these adjustments. 

Listing of Current Teaching Circles

General Interest 

  • Remote Teaching and Student Engagement (Cross College): Brings together faculty from across the university to focus on student engagement in the remote and online classroom. 
  • Remote Teaching and Student Engagement (CLA): Brings together faculty from the College of Liberal Arts to focus on student engagement in the remote and online classroom. 
  • Remote and Online Teaching for the Sciences: Brings together faculty from the sciences to explore issues around teaching science remotely and online. 
  • Digital Pedagogy: Engaging Students with Technology: Brings together faculty from across the university to explore technology tools for student engagement. 
  • Creative Fields and Remote Teaching: Brings together faculty from across the university to explore issues in remote and online teaching specific to the creative fields. 
  • Remote Technology Basics for CBHS: Brings together faculty from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences to explore the basics of remote and online for their disciplines. 
  • Remote Technology Basics for M&E: Brings together faculty from the College Media and Entertainment s to explore the basics of remote and online for their disciplines. 

Special Topics 

  • Best Practices for Diversity & Inclusion: This group explores questions of diversity and inclusion in online, remote, and web-assisted classes. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up.   
  • Best Practices for Teaching Large Enrollment Classes Remotely: This groups examines best practices for teaching a large enrollment class remotely. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 
  • Teaching Math and Math-Intensive Fields Remotely: This group includes faculty for math assignments play a key role in their classes and who want to explore how to teach effectively remotely.  This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 
  • Best Practices for Reacting to the Past Games Remote and Online: This group focuses on using Reacting to the Past games (or Reacting-like games) online or remotely. Newbies welcomed. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 
  • Best Practices for Teaching Writing Remotely & Online: This group is for faculty for whom writing assignments play a key role in your class and who are exploring ways to use writing assignments more effectively. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 
  • Best Practices for Teaching General Education Courses Online & Remotely:  This group is for faculty who are teaching general education classes and have chosen the web-assisted, remote, or online option for the fall semester. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 
  • Best Practices for Storing and Sharing Research Digitally: This group is for faculty who work with graduate students or supervise undergraduate research projects or teach a laboratory-based class. This is an interdisciplinary teaching circle and faculty from all colleges are welcome and encouraged to sign up. 



These colleagues have volunteered to serve as liaisons for the Faculty Support Network. Contact liaisons via their MTSU email. If you are working on course development and have a question and you can’t find an answer, these folks will help you think through your next steps. They may not be able to answer your question, but they will help you identify the person who can.

Elyce Helford, Professor, English, College of Liberal Arts
Carrie Pavel, Assisant Professor, Interior Design, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences
Francis Koti, Professor, Global Studies & Human Geography, College of Liberal Arts
Elissa Ledoux, Lecturer, Engineering Technology, College of Basic and Applied Sciences
Mary Martin, Professor, Mathematical Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences
Richard Tarpey, Assistant Professor, Management, Jones College of Business
Bonnie Barksdale, Assistant Professor, Elementary and Special Education, College of Education
Rachel Kirk, Professor, Library Collection Development, Library
Soraya Nogueira, Associate Professor, World Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, College of Liberal Arts
Ryan Korstange, Assistant Professor, University Studies, University College
Carlos Coronel, IT Resources Director, Jones College of Business
Mark Abolins, Professor, Geosciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences
David Cyzak, Assistant Professor, Music, College of Liberal Arts 


Explore Resources for Web-Assisted, Remote, and Online Learning

Whether you have already joined a teaching circle or are thinking about it, or just want to browse, you'll find resources to help you make the transition to web-assisted, remote, and online teaching.


All the books in this section are hyperlinked to MTSU’s Walker Library. Let us know if you hit a bad link:

Lang, James M. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. Jossey-Bass, 2016.

  • This book uses research about cognitive theory and learning to suggest modest instructional changes that can have a powerful impact; it would be useful regardless of the format or platform you’ve chosen.

Darby, Flower. Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes. Jossey-Bass,2019.

  • This work interprets the principles of James Lang’s Small Teaching for the online classroom and may be especially helpful if you have chosen remote or online teaching.

Riggs, Shannon, Kathryn E. Linder, and Penny Ralston-Berg. Thrive Online: A New Approach to Building Expertise and Confidence as an Online Educator. First edition. Thrive Online Series. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2019. Ebsco.

  • This book is aimed at online educators and seeks to shift the conversation that currently frames online learning in negative terms. This book is especially good if you have chosen the traditional online/hybrid format (see below for definitions)

Fink, L. D. “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning: Designing Courses for Significant Learning.”

  • In this pamphlet, Fink guides you through the course design process. It was developed by Dee Fink, the director of the Instructional Development Program at University of Oklahoma and can be used in tandem with her full-length work, Creating Significant Learning Experiences. (2013). This guide and Fink’s book are about the principles of course design generally and not specifically about online teaching. To access, click on the link and sign in with your FSA credentials.

Fink, L. Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. Rev. and Updated ed. The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series. Jossey-Bass, 2013. Ebsco.

  • This full-length work that can be used in conjunction with Fink’s Self-Directed Guide and as a reference tool.

Nilson, Linda, and Ludwika Goodson. Online Teaching at Its Best. Jossey-Bass, 2017. Ebsco.

  • If you are worried about the quality of online instruction, you are going online or remote for the first time, and/or you are concerned about designing the best possible course, this is the place to start.


Alqurashi, Emtinan. Handbook of Research on Fostering Student Engagement with Instructional Technology in Higher Education. Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design Series. Hershey, PA: IGA Global, 2020.

  • Alqurashi's handbook includes chapters on Flipgrid, e-portfolios, use of video and other digital tools.

Boettcher, Judith V., and Rita-Marie Conrad. The Online Teaching Survival Guide : Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. Second edition.  Foreword by Pam McQuesten. Jossey-Bass, 2016.

  • Boettcher and Conrad include chapters on core principles, best practices, and simple, practical tips for implementation.

Bonk, Curtis J., and Charles R. Graham. The Handbook of Blended Learning : Global Perspectives, Local Designs. New York: Pfeiffer, 2005.

  • Bonk and Graham focus on blended learning in multiple environments, including corporate, for-profit education, and higher education. Parts 3 and 5 are especially relevant for higher ed and provide case studies and examples from around the world. 

Levy, Dan. Teaching Effectively with Zoom: A Practical Guide to Engage Your Students and Help Them Learn. Amazon, 2020. Kindle.

  • Self-published as an eBook in Kindle in response to the pandemic, this book addresses the question of the pedagogical value of Zoom. Dan Levy is the director of the Public Leadership Credential, the Harvard Kennedy School's flagship online learning initiative. He wrote and self-published this guide to Zoom in June of 2020.  Available for purchase from Amazon. 

Folse, Keith. Teaching with Zoom: A Guide for Complete Beginners. Wayzgoose, Press, 2020. Kindle.

  • Published as an eBook in Kindle in response to the pandemic, this book is excellent for Zoom beginners. Folse has a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology. Available for purchase from Amazon.

Costa, Karen. 99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos: A Guide for Online Teachers and Flipped Classes. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2020

  • "The research is clear: online learning works best when faculty build regular, positive, and interactive relationships with students. A strategy that helps forge such a relationship is the use of videos. Student satisfaction and course engagement levels also increase with the use of instructor-generated videos – the subject of this book." If you'd like to add pre-recorded video content to you course, start here. Available in digital format from the MTSU Library.



Teaching Professor:

  • The Teaching Professor helps college faculty improve their teaching, share best practices, and stay current on the latest pedagogical research.


  • Educause identifies itself as “a nonprofit association that helps higher education elevate the impact of IT.”  

LinkedIn Learning: Access via your Office 365 account. 

  • LinkedIn Learning offers “business, creative, and tech courses” to help you learn “the most relevant skills. 


HyFlex and blended are two kinds of web-assisted courses and typically incorporate some elements of both synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning. Explore these links for more information.

Hyflex Course Design with Brian Beatty, Accessed June 12, 2020.

  • Listen to a podcast from Think UDL (Universal Learning Design) with Brian Beatty, the originator of Hyflex.

Beatty, Brian J. Hybrid-Flexible Course Design. EdTech Books, 2019.

  • Read Beatty’s open access book about HyFlex course design or go straight to his bibliography for more HyFlex resources.

University of Central Florida Blended Learning Toolkit. Accessed June 12, 2020.

  • This website is a free, open access resource from the University of Central Florida. It is a great resource for those who have chosen the web-assisted model.

Crook, Amy E. and Travis W. Crook, "Six Tips for Teaching Online and In Person Simultaneously." Inside Higher Ed. August 26, 2020.

  • Crook and Crook identify strategies for implementing the hyflex model for instructors new to the practice. Their article examines two approaches, one that attempts to simulate the in-person experience and the other that makes the most of the online environment.

Johnston, Jason. “Best Practices for Synchronous Online Discussions.” Higher E-Learning (blog), September 16, 2016.

  • This is a blog post from Jason Johnston, the Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of Kentucky in the College of Social Work.

Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning. “Synchronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students,” June 26, 2017.

  • From Magna Publications Faculty Focus website, this is a pre-pandemic list of tips for increasing student engagement in synchronous learning.

Keypath Education. “Should You Add a Synchronous Component to Your Online Teaching Strategy?” Accessed June 9, 2020.

  • Keypath Education is a private company that partners with educational institutions, including Florida State University, to develop and manage online programs. This is a reflection piece from their blog. This might be useful if you’ve chosen remote instruction and are trying to decide how much synchronous teaching/learning to include in your class.

“Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online | Tomorrow’s Professor Postings.” Accessed June 9, 2020.

  • From Stanford University’s Tomorrow’s Professor e-Newsletter and excerpted from Boettcher and Conrad’s Online Teaching Survival Guide.

Godwin, Kim. MTSU Online “Measuring Contact Hours in Online Courses"; also available at Archived Presentations.

  • A sixty-minute video of a workshop by MTSU Online’s Kim Godwin that will help you make sure that you are assigning a reasonable workload for you and your students in an online class.

Wake Forest University Center for the Advancement of Teaching. “Workload Estimator 2.0.” Accessed June 9, 2020.

  • Faculty and staff at Wake Forest University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching designed a workload calculator that you may want to use in tandem with Kim Godwn’s presentation of “Measuring Contact Hours in Online Courses.”

Bruff, Derek. “Active Learning in Hybrid and Socially Distanced Classrooms.” Accessed June 12, 2020.

  • Some tips for active learning from Derek Bruff, the director of Vanderbilt University’s Teaching Center.

Raygoza, et. al., "Humanizing Online Teaching." Accessed June 12, 2020.

  • A downloadable, bulleted list of tips for humanizing online instruction from education faculty in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at St. Mary’s College of California.

Goldberg, Bennett. Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Teaching Online. Accessed June, 13, 2020. 

  • A twenty-minute video from Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching at Northwestern University.

Maeda, Magara and Lauren Rosen. How to Establish a Strong Community in an Online Course.  Accessed July 25, 2020.

  • This article explores both the theory and practice of creating online community with specific, practical tips.


Find books available from MTSU’s LT&ITC;

  • Don’t see what you need on this list? Want to take a deeper dive into the philosophy of teaching and course design? Click on the link to review the books available from the LT&ITC.

Find help with course design;

  • This link has more resources for course design at MTSU. Remember if you don’t find what you need, you can always contact the LT&ITC: Call LT&ITC, 615-494-7671 or email


  1. D2L Bootcamp Course

    • Self-pace through a D2L course created by CTAT to find detailed references and videos for using several features of D2L.
    • Learn more and self-register.

    Remote Instruction Standards Course (RIS)

    • Self-pace through a D2L course created by MTSU Online to provide fundamental information needed to develop a remote instruction/delivery course.

    MTSU Online Certification

    • Self -pace through a D2L course created by MTSU Online for ongoing faculty development opportunities on D2L tools, teaching resources, and content from MTSU Online presentations. This course also hosts the Online Instructor Certification (required for new MTSU Online faculty).

    How to access MTSU Online courses (RIS or Online Certification)

    1. Login to D2Lwith your MTSU credentials
    2. Join the course by clicking the Self-Registrationoption on your D2L Homepage
      1. Remote Instruction Standards Course (RIS) link. Self-pace through a D2L course created by MTSU Online to provide fundamental information needed to develop a remote instruction/delivery course.
        • Once you have completed the course, you will be able to download an accessible template that you can copy to your own course shells.
        • The RIS course was created by MTSU Online for summer courses as part of the summer approval process. Note:You don’t need approval from Distance Learning for your fall 2020 remote or web-assisted courses, but you can still complete their training course—it’s really helpful
      2. MTSU Online Certification Course link. Self-pace through a D2L course created by MTSU Online for ongoing faculty development opportunities or to complete the Online Instructor Certification course.
        • Once you complete the OIC course, you will receive a digital certificate of completion from MTSU online
        • Additional digital badges are available for Rubrics and Accessibility


Review a list of course types for Fall 2020: Course Types

  • Login with your FSA user name and password.