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Start Strong: Build Your Online Course

This training presents a bird's eye view of teaching for instructors looking for a fast-start. Become familiar with the foundations of creating your course and engaging your students.

Who Are Your Students?

A big part of teaching is engaging your students. You know this; your best teachers likely did it for you, too.

The question is how do you do this? Awareness is a good first step. This means that you notice who your students are. You seek to know them better. The purpose is to connect, demonstrate caring and interest, and learn what you can do to create a supportive and safe learning environment. The topics below discuss factors that are known to affect learning outcomes. More than anything, it is important to have some basic understanding of these needs and concerns as well as to look for places in your class plan that might intersect or clash with them.

Show Them How Its Done: Model Good Ethics

The student and faculty handbook materials explain the university's expectations and guidelines. However, you and your students may need more information. These infographics will help you and your students identify the information and images you may reuse and how to fairly and appropriately reference when needed. Don't forget to check your own course materials and model good practice. *These images are being used under Educational Fair Use Guidelines.


Infographic uses flowchart to guide students in determining if they have plagiarized.

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Infographic explains the terms, laws, and ethics for using copyrighted images

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Ask your department about these and all relevant University policies and legal requirements. Your department may have additional requirements. You'll find useful information on the MCPHS Academic Affairs and the MCPHS Student Affairs websites (login required).

  • Academic Honesty for faculty
  • Student Honesty Standards
  • Privacy (FERPA, HIPPA)
  • Social media usage
  • Disabilities accommodations
  • Course documentation (absences, grades)

Listen to Your Students & Build a Learning Community


Watch "What Students Recommend About Large Classes". Whether you teach in a large, small, or online class, these students' recommendations are small, but powerful. (*Teaching assistants are generally only available at very large research schools.)

Power Moves for Critical Thinking

Is This Story Share-Worthy? from the Newseum offers a guide to critical analysis of information sources.

Infographic flowchart to guide critical analysis of news sources.

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What Your Voice Tells Your Students

How do you talk with your students? Tone and body language matter. They can take a dry topic and make it it more interesting, draw quiet students out, communicate enthusiasm, and develop a teacher-student connection. Watch these videos to see just what we mean.



There is always more for an instructor to do, to expand, and to consider. Therefore, link to the "4. Expanding Your Practice" tab to ponder how you might take your new course even further!

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