Developing your Online Course Toolkit


Developing your Online Course Toolkit


1. Student Orientation    ·    2. Structure and Content    ·    3. Engagement    ·    4. Transparent Assessment    ·    5. Resources

This Toolkit is intended to support faculty who will be developing an online course for the first time. Continue reading to to explore the University of Oregon’s five Canvas Course Site Essentials for Online Classes: student orientation, structure and content, engagement, transparent assessment, and resources. Below you will learn why each component is essential to the success of an online course, see examples from your colleagues at UO, and find templates and further resources. These essentials are meant to help faculty and academic units meet UO's policy and expectations for online courses.

Please note: Instructional design and stipend support are available for developing online courses that a unit determines as strategic for student success.

Canvas Course Site Essentials for Online Classes

1. Student Orientation

What is it? The Home page, Start Here module, and welcome message are designed to help students anticipate the arc of the course, settle into their community of peers, and begin participating in the class. 

1.1. UO Faculty Examples (click to expand)


Please note: you can view each imagine in fullscreen by simply clicking the thumbnail.

Home Page 1

Greek history home page

Home Page 2

SPED 570 Home Page

Home Page 3

EC 201 Home Page

Start Here Module 1

ENG 104 Start Here Module

Start Here Module 2

GLBL 370 start here module

Start Here Module 3

CH 331 start here module

Start Here Module 4

SPED 570 start here module

Welcome Video 1

PSY 672 Welcome Video

Welcome Video 2

SPED 570 welcome video


1.2. Teaching Resources: Home Page, Start Here Module, Welcome Message (click to expand)

2. Structure and Content

What is it? The Canvas site features intuitive navigation through modules, consistent naming conventions, and accessible digital content.

2.1. UO Faculty Examples (click to expand)


Please note: you can view each imagine in fullscreen by simply clicking the thumbnail.

Canvas Module 1

PSY 619 module

Canvas Module 2

SPED 571 module

Canvas Module 3

CH 337 module

Weekly Overview 1

ARH 317 overview

Weekly Overview 2

CH 331 overview

Weekly Overview 3

SPED 670 overview
2.2. Teaching Resources: Navigation, Organization, and Accessibility (click to expand)

3. Engagement

What is it? Learning materials and activities, such as discussion forums and social annotation, allow students to establish meaningful connections with content and peers. The course is designed with mechanisms for regular instructor feedback to guide students in their learning.  

3.1. UO Faculty Examples (click to expand)


Please note: you can view each imagine in fullscreen by simply clicking the thumbnail. 

Peer Introductions

SOC 355 Peer Introductions


Hypothesis PDF Annotation

Hypothesis annotation

Perusall Video Annotation

Perusall Video Annotation
3.2. Teaching Resources: Social Interaction, Social Annotation, Discussions (click to expand)

4. Transparent Assessment

What is it? The purpose, requirements, and assessment criteria for all course activities and assignments are communicated to clarify expectations and to align with course learning objectives.

4.1. UO Faculty Examples (click to expand)


Please note: you can view each imagine in fullscreen by simply clicking the thumbnail.

Transparent Assignment 1

ARH 317 assignment prompt


Transparent Assignment 2

EC 201 assignment prompt

Canvas Assignment Rubric

ENG 104 rubric
4.2. Teaching Resources: Assignments, Assessment, and Academic Integrity (click to expand)

5. Resources

What is it? Instructor office hours, contact information, and support resources are shared prominently so students know how and where they can get help.

5.1. UO Faculty Examples (click to expand)


Please note: you can view each imagine in fullscreen by simply clicking the thumbnail.

Technology Support Page

ARCH 222 Tech Support

Email and Office Hours Page

PSY 672 communication page


UO Student Resources

UO Student Resources
5.2. Teaching Resources: Technology Support and Student Success (click to expand)

Team up with an Instructional Designer from UO Online for help developing your online course using research-informed design and pedagogical strategies based on the Universal Design for Learning framework and the Quality Matters standards. To get started, contact

Contact UO Online

Explore, Share, and Iterate with Canvas Commons

Teaching at the University of Oregon means that you are part of a diverse scholarly community committed to professional, inclusive, engaged, and research-informed teaching practices. One of the great benefits and joys of working alongside such talented educators is that we get to learn from each other and share what has been working in our own classes. In support of this community of practice, UO has a resource called Canvas Commons, a place for you and your colleagues across the university to access and share learning materials you have created. In Commons, you can find and share Canvas modules, assignments, quizzes, discussions, pages, documents, multimedia, and even full courses! 

You can access Commons if you have an instructor role in at least one Canvas course. To learn more about Commons, please read our article introducing Canvas Commons at UO. For help accessing, using, and sharing content in Canvas Commons, please see our Canvas Commons how-to-guide to help you get started. 


The examples of online teaching that animate this toolkit have been generously shared by your peers and colleagues in the UO teaching community. UO Online would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has contributed materials for their generosity and commitment to collegiality.

Yvonne Braunn, Global Studies

Kristy Bryant-Berg, Composition 

Adam Glass, Chemistry

Maile Hutterer, History of Art & Architecture

Krystale LittlejohnSociology

Anne Mannering, Psychology

Kimberly Marshall, College of Education

Mary Polites, Architecture

Mike Urbancic​​​​​​, Economics