Faculty Online Teaching Manual

FITS FAQs Faculty Forum

Introductions to Teaching Online

Thinking About How to Develop the Course

What should be considered

  • What will be the format of the course (Weekly or Topic)
  • How many sections are needed in Moodle?  By default all courses have one section a week in a given semester.
  • How will you communicate with students?
  • How will students communicate with you and each other?
  • How will students be assessed?

Format Options (sample screenshots of courses)

PCS -141 Interpersonal Communications (fall 2014) – Three Sections for Fall Semester 2014

MAT 107 – College Algebra (fall 2014) – Weekly format for Fall Semester 2014

ENG 101 – English Composition (fall 2014) – Weekly Sections for Fall Semester 2014

Example of Main Menu in Fully-Online Course – Main Menu Set-up

Back To Top

What Should Be Included in Each Course

“Class Announcements”

  • part of every Moodle course and must not be removed or changed for it has been approved by our accreditation body.
  • use to communicate with students about changes to the course, assignments due, where to locate something

“Syllabus and Other Documents”

  • part of  every Moodle course and must not be removed or changed for it has been approved by our accreditation body.
  • Post your course syllabus, class schedule with due dates, any rubric or documents students may need on a regular basis throughout the semester.


  • Add a Forum that is “Forum type: Standard forum for general use” so students can post questions about the course, work due, etc. Encourage students to post all course related questions to the forum.  Set this forum so that everyone receives an email when a post is made. This encourages students to either go into Moodle and respond or wait for an answer if they had the same question. Encourage students to reply to classmates’ questions if they are able (this creates a sense of community.)

Back To Top

Checklist For Faculty Teaching Online – Are you ready for the First Day of Classes?

Checklist For Faculty Teaching Online – Are you ready for the First Day of Classes?

All fully online courses will be made available to students by 8:00 am the first day of classes. You may opt to make your course available sooner (see “Show” course to students in the Introduction to LMS chapter.)

What should be available to students when the course becomes available?

☐ Syllabus

☐ Class schedule with assignments and due dates which may be tentative (let students know)

☐ Welcome announcement (anything posted in Class Announcements gets pushed to students’ email account)

☐ An orientation or how to get started in the class specific to the course

Course Design Considerations – Best Practices

☐ Formatting and order of content is consistent within each topic/week/section

☐   Dated information is current and accurate

☐ Web and internal course links are active and working properly

☐ Content not being used for the course in the current semester is hidden from students

☐   Grade Center reflects the current semester’s work and is set to report accurate information fro students

Links to resources students would find useful

Checklist _Are you Ready for the First Day of Classes

Back To Top

First Day of Class Logistics

All fully online courses must be available by 8:00 am the first day of classes.

Make course available the morning of the first day of classes.

  1. In Moodle: Administration > Edit Settings > Visible > Show
  2. Scroll to bottom of the page and click Save Changes

Post a welcome Announcement in”Class Announcements” with information about the course, where to find Syllabus, etc.

Click to edit instructions
Edit setting: edit instructions or description; and add files
  1. Click Turn editing on;   Go to
  2.  Class Announcements; click on Edit settings to the right to change the default instructions.
  3. Click on the actual “Class Announcements” link; then click on Add a new topic to post your welcome announcement.
  4. Scroll to bottom of the page and click “Post to forum”. Note: all posts made to “Class Announcements” gets sent as an email to students’ GCC Gmail account.


Syllabus, class schedule, rubric are posted and available for students.

  1. Click Turn editing on; Go to
  2.  Syllabus & Other Documents; click on “Editing settings” to the right to change the description and drag files to be uploaded;
  3. Scroll to bottom of the page to save.

Send email to class or individual students from Moodle using Quickmail

  1. Click “Turn editing on”; In the far right column, go to Quickmail;
  2. Click Compose New Mail;

To learn about Quickmail, visit:

Back To Top

Introduction to LMS (Moodle)

“Show” course for students

Make a course in Moodle available

A quick email to show you how to a make course within the new version of Moodle available to students:

  1. Go to “Administration: Edit settings” block, top left of window
  2. Will take you to the “Edit course setting” window
  3. In “General: Visible” click drop-down menu and select “Show”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the window and click the “Save changes” button
Go to Edit Settings
Go to Edit Settings







Show Course for Students

Back To Top

Weekly Format

Samples/screen shots of Weekly format


Back To Top

Internal Links

Within Message area of Forum

Within Text area of File

Within Message area of Journal

Back To Top

What Do Students Need to Know?

Students: Prior To or On the First Day of Class

Log in to Moodle

Students have access to the Moodle server once given log in information. If you experience a challenge logging in to Moodle or any of your GCC accounts, send an email to the Student Help Desk: StudentHelp@stuemail.gcc.mass.edu.  Once you have explained the situation, be sure to provide your full name and student identification number.

How-to Course for Students

When a student logs in to Moodle for the first time, we want to encourage them to explore the “How-to Course for Students” which mirrors the format of most online courses.  Go through the course at your open pace to get a feel how Moodle is set-up at GCC.  This course includes instructional videos on some of the activities and resources you may use in a Moodle course; such as how to participate in a Forum, upload an assignment and take a quiz. You will also find guidance on how to navigate through Moodle, use some of the common applications available on campus

Back To Top

Course Design Strategies

GCC: Suggested Design Elements for Online Courses


The proposed guidelines serve as a potential tool for reflection in the design or redesign of online courses. These guidelines respond to frequent faculty requests for best-practice support as they review and design online instruction. The intent of this tool is not to be prescriptive, but rather to organize and highlight key elements considered important by contributing GCC members and also described in the literature as factors that facilitate student learning and engagement in online instruction.

This tool is divided into four major components: Design, Delivery, Assessment, and Support. Under these categories are elements that have been identified as beneficial to web-based instruction and learning. For more details about the origins and development of these draft guidelines, please see the attached page on history and impetus for this GCC initiative.

These design elements were approved by the GCCPA in spring 2014.  See the PDF for the complete outline of the Suggested Design Elements

Greenfield Community College: Suggested Design Elements for Online Courses  [PDF]

Back To Top

Learning Objectives

By topic

By week

By section


Provide sample/screenshot

Use Page


Back To Top