Online Teaching Excellence Institute (OTEI)

What is the OTEI?

online teaching excellence instituteSince pivoting online in the spring of 2020, Academic Affairs administration at Appalachian State has provided resources aimed at supporting faculty with the design and development of high-quality online courses.  A grant application process was launched in April 2020 that resulted in two cohorts of faculty (~150) participating in a structured professional development institute experience providing them the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to develop engaging and interactive courses. A comprehensive and supportive institute was developed for this purpose that focused on engaging faculty in a reflective, engaging, and collaborative experience to develop their courses.


The OTEI is a ten-week, structured professional development experience providing faculty with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to design and develop engaging and interactive courses. In this comprehensive course development institute, participants will engage with course materials, meet in small teams, and ultimately complete the development of a complete online course.

The OTEI experience will address course design and development as well as focus on strategies for inclusive and engaging approaches to facilitate online learning. Participants who complete the institute and submit a fully developed course within AsULearn will earn a stipend of $4,000. OTEI course development stipends are directly funded by the monies recuperated from the distance education stipends.

Feedback from faculty

I feel this is something that is widely needed for every instructor at ASU.  It was more than just learning how to effectively teach online.   

This has been an incredibly positive experience.  I have learned so many different tools to make my course more engaging and accessible to a wider variety of learners. 

Participating in the institute definitely alleviated some of the fears and concerns I had, not only in regard to course design, but also in my ability to center my students’ in creating a great learning environment.

The lessons from OTEI go far beyond online instruction, and will impact my teaching practice in any setting.

Topics/Themes covered in the OTEI:

  • Online Learning and Overview of OTEI
  • Backwards Design and Writing Learning Outcomes
  • Course Organization and ASULearn Essentials
  • Aligned Online Assessments
  • Planning Accessible Inclusive and Engaging Activities
  • Developing Resources and Activities
  • Fostering Student Success in Online Classes
  • Fine-tuning Your Course Facilitation Strategies
  • Revisions and Evalutations

The next offering of the OTEI is scheduled for summer 2021. If you have questions about the application process or timeline please contact Emory Maiden at maidenev3@appstate.edu.