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Faculty Resources

What is online learning at Penn Nursing?

Online Learning collaborates with Penn faculty on aspects of instructional design, digital pedagogy, and multimedia educational productions including:

  • Fully Online, For-Credit Courses
  • Online Student Communities
  • Flipped and Hybrid Learning Experiences
  • Live Broadcasts of Information Sessions and Educational Events

To help make your online teaching experience the best possible, access the Technology Orientation for Online Learning:


Is online teaching right for me and my course topic?








Teaching in the online environment is different from teaching a traditional face-to-face course, and it may not be the right fit for every topic, faculty member or student! Faculty members must consider carefully when deciding if their course learning objectives could be achieved through online resources and technologies.

Faculty members often need to rethink the design of their course and consider a variety of new instructional techniques to enhance student learning. There are great benefits to teaching online but challenges, as well. Penn Nursing ITS is available to discuss needs and propose solutions.

Is online learning right for my students?








Penn students come to the university with a variety of experiences and opinions. First-time online students may have fear and reservations about venturing into this new environment. For some students, the online option offers exceptional flexibility and convenience. But just as teaching online requires new and different skills, online learning may not be right for every student.

Resources are available to help students determine if online learning is a good choice for them, including video demonstrations of the platforms to introduce students to this environment. Additional screencasts and tutorials exist to prepare students for their online classes. In instances where students want to earn credit over the summer term to fulfill course requirements, Online Learning is a terrific choice, no matter where students spend the summer.

What is synchronous vs asynchronous learning?






Synchronous online classes are those that require students and instructors to be online at the same time. Lectures, discussions, and presentations occur at a specific hour. All students must be online at that specific hour in order to participate.

Asynchronous classes are just the opposite. Instructors provide materials, lectures, tests, and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Students may be given a timeframe – usually a one week window – during which they need to connect at least once or twice. But overall, students are free to contribute whenever they choose.

How much work is involved in course conversion?










Transforming a course for the online environment often requires redesign effort to clarify learning objectives, organize course content, and identify resources. It is estimated that an instructor needs approximately 30 to 40 hours to design a course, 10 to 20 hours of technical support, and 6 to 16 hours of instructional design to reconfigure and support the online course. Penn Nursing ITS is available to help you every step of the way.

What are the benefits and incentives for online teaching?








Benefits to students and faculty members include flexibility, access, and convenience since the courses can be taken and delivered from any location. Successful online programs can also lead to increased satisfaction, higher retention and enrollment for students, and greater productivity for faculty.

What training and resources are available for online teaching?








Penn Nursing ITS offers individualized training for faculty and technical support during course preparation and delivery. The team offers assistance and support for instructional design, customized course creation, technology and platform training, individualized practice sessions, tutorials, video editing, and more. Technical support is available to all faculty members and students during their course preparation and delivery, as well as during live sessions as needed. For more information, please contact the ITS Service Desk.

What are the copyright and intellectual property policies?





Penn’s Copyright Policy allows all academic creators of intellectual property to retain ownership of copyright in materials developed as part of teaching duties at Penn. There are exceptions to the general policy. See the Policy Statement on Copyrights on page 171 of the Faculty Handbook. The handbook is available from the Office of Faculty Affairs or online.


Looking for more resources? Sign up for our Orientation to Nursing Online Teaching on Canvas or look at the faculty Canvas Support Guides.