Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock


Phone: 408-807-9377

Twitter: @brocansky

live ZOOM room:

Communication Policy: Email is the quickest way to reach me. I will reply to your emails within 24 hours during the week, usually much faster. While teaching, I make an effort to reply on weekends too. If you prefer to meet live, let me know and we'll arrange a videoconference in ZOOM.

Late Policy: I understand how busy faculty are and will do my best to support your success in this class. If you are unable to meet a deadline, please contact me in advance so we can make arrangements to meet your needs.

Course Description

This course has been developed for instructors who are preparing to teach online or who are seeking to improve their online teaching  skills. The course provides an introduction to active learning; strategies for developing collaborative, active learning activities in the online environment; formative and summative assessments of learning; and self-reflection activities designed to improve the cultivation of your own online teaching philosophy. Participants will design an online activity for their own class in an Online Activity Outline matrix, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of online teaching principles.

Course Outcomes

By the successful completion of this course,

you will:

  1. Consider the unique learning opportunities the online environment provides.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to design an online learning activity that is aligned with clear, measurable objectives; explains procedures; lists necessary materials; and includes an analytic or holistic rubric.
  3. Conceptualize an assessment plan for your online course that blends formative and summative assessments into the design of your learning activities.
  4. Select appropriate collaborative tools for active learning activities.
  5. Evaluate the role your own learning style and learning experiences play in your online teaching philosophy.
  6. Critically reflect on your professional development growth as it relates to teaching online.


Quality Online Learning & Teaching (QOLT) is a framework to support a faculty member's effective online teaching development. QOLT is comprised of nine principles, derived from national benchmarks in online teaching and learning.

CUSCI's Online Teaching Preparation Program is designed to foster the skills needed to design, development, and facilitate an online course that fulfills the QOLT principles.

CSUCI QOLT Resources

  • Completion of this course supports mastery of QOLT Sections 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9.


In this class, you will examine opportunities involved with transforming passive learning into...

Course Duration & Organization

  • This course is 2 weeks long.
  • It is organized into 2 learning modules, each of which is 1 week long.
  • Each learning module will begin on a Wednesday and end on Tuesday.
  • You will have assignments due on different days and you will be responsible for tracking these dates throughout each unit.
  • Note: Due dates are listed below (these may change!). If you identify conflicts, please make a plan to submit activities early or contact me directly to discuss the possibility of alternative options.

...learning in which students are engaged in the active construction of knowledge.

Required Materials & Technology

  • All content materials will be provided to participants in CILearn (Blackboard).
  • This course will use VoiceThread, which will require you to use a computer with either a microphone or webcam.
  • Participants must have regular access to a computer (not a mobile device).
  • A recently upgraded web browser.
  • Regular access to the internet.

Learning Environment

This course is designed to teach you practical skills needed to design engaginge online activities that have clear assessment criteria and are aligned with the module learning objectives (which are in alignment with course level student learning outcomes).

  • Participants in this course will identify an online course that has the framework of two modules already designed (duration, title, description, learning objectives).  In this course, you will design one online activity that includes a rubric for the module you have already begun to design.
  • You will be expected to participate in online asynchronous discussions and collaborative activities.
  • You will also reflect deeply on your own online teaching philosophy by evaluating how it has been impacted by your online professional development and growth as an online instructor.

Learner Expectations

  • This is a fast-pace course that requires regular engagement throughout each of the two weeks.
  • Review the due dates for the assignments (see Content Overview section) to orient yourself to the flow of the learning.
  • You are expected to log into CILearn on the first day of each learning unit (starting with day 1 of the course) to assess the new learning unit, orient yourself to the due dates for the week, and plan your study time.
  • Online classes are deceiving. Often new online learners expect them to be easier than face-to-face classes and are surprised to learn how challenging they can be. If you find yourself needing assistance, it is your responsibility to reach out for extra help. I am here to help you as needed, but I need you to maintain open communications with me throughout the class.
  • Ensure you have approximately 10 hours per week to spend on this class and take time to identify where and when you’ll do your learning.
  • Due dates are listed below in Content Overview (these may change!). If you identify conflicts, please make a plan to submit activities early or contact me directly to discuss the possibility of alternative options.

Course Policies

Late Work

  • Due dates are clearly shared in advance and participants are expected to submit work on time.

  • As this is a professional development course, all efforts will be made to accommodate situations that may interfere with your learning, provided that you inform me of your situation and request an extension for assignments prior to the due date (unless it's an emergency, of course)

  • Keep in mind, online learning is fast-paced and community-oriented. When there is a gap in your participation, the class community will develop without you. Therefore, the group activities will not have the same outcomes for you if you complete them after their designated due dates.

Cheating and Plagiarism

  • This course will adhere to CSUCI’s academic dishonesty policy.

  • (Note to faculty: this is a professional development course. This line is included in this syllabus to demonstrate effective syllabus practice for online courses at CI.)

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

  • Cal State Channel Islands is committed to equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The purpose of Disability Resource Program is to assist students with disabilities to realize their academic and personal potential. Students with disabilities needing accommodation are required to contact the Disability Program office at (805) 437-3331. All requests for accommodations need appropriate advance notice by the student to avoid a delay in services. Please discuss approved accommodations with faculty.


How to Earn a Course Completion

Participants who sucessfully complete the following items will earn a "Course Completion." A successful completion is designated by a "checkmark" in the CILearn grade book.

  1. Learning Style Discussion
  2. "Your Online Teaching Philosophy" VoiceThread
  3. Online Activity Outline (Phases 1, 2, and 3)
  4. Online Teaching Philosophy Reflections

Technical Support

If you experience technical problems in this course, you should do the following:

  1. Clear your browser’s cache
  2. Try a different browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome)
  3. Shut down and restart your computer
  4. Contact the University Help desk or 805-437-8552.
  5. For VoiceThread support, click here.

Online Etiquette

By participating in this class, you are part of a community. This means you are agreeing to abide by our Community Ground Rules at all times. Please take a moment to read them now.

Read Our Community Ground Rules

Content Overview

Module #1

Active Learning

DUE DAY 2 (by 11:59pm)

  • Learner Info Form (in Start Here area)

DUE DAY 3 (by 11:59pm)

  • Modul 1 Discussion: (in Module 1/Activities or access by clicking on Discussions) Create a new thread and respond to the prompt.

DUE DAY 4 (by 11:59pm)

  • Module 1 Discussion: Reply to at least 2 threads.

DUE Day 7 (by 11:59pm)

  • "What will they do?" Collaborative Activity: (in Module 1/Activities) Add 2 contributions with your name in the collaborative Google Presentation titled, "What will they do?"

Module #2

Designing Your Online

DUE DAY 3 (by 11:59pm)

  • "Your Online Teaching Philosophy" VoiceThread: (in Module 1/Activities) Leave at least 2 comments in voice or video on any two slides.

DUE DAY 4 (by 11:59pm)

  • "Online Activity Outline "- Phase 1: Post Draft. Go to "Feedback Room" Discussion Forum, create a new thread, and post the link to the draft of your Online Activity Outline

DUE DAY 5 (by 11:59pm)

  • "Online Activity Outline" - Phase 2: Share Feedback. Go to the "Feedback Room" Discussion Forum, select two Activity Outlines shared by your peers, reply to their threads with meaningful feedback.

DUE DAY 7 (by 11:59pm)

  • "Online Activity Outline" - Phase 3: Submit: (in Module 2/Activities) Follow the submission instructions.
  • "Online Teaching Philosophy" Reflections: Share in VoiceThread. Please follow the instructions in Module 2/Activities.

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