Online teaching is increasingly common at many types of higher education institutions, ranging from hybrid courses that offer a combination of in-person and online instruction, to fully online experiences and distance learning. The following resources provide guidelines for creating an online course, best practices for teaching online, and strategies for assessing the quality of online education.

CRLT Occasional Paper #18: Online Teaching (Zhu, Dezure, & Payette, 2003)
This paper explores key questions to consider when planning an online course and provides guidelines for effective instructional practices.


Formative evaluation can help instructors to make improvements, recognize strengths to amplify, and identify problems to remedy. The resources in this section focus on two evaluation methods: Midterm Student Feedback (MSF) and Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID).

Midterm Student Feedback Service at CRLT

Related topics under teaching strategies:

Formative and Summative Evaluation


Instructors who understand student motivation can greatly enhance the classroom experience and student performance. The articles and links on this page discuss research findings on student motivation and techniques for motivating students.

Teaching FAQs: Motivating Students
Fifteen tips on motivating students from the Teaching Effectiveness Program at the University of Oregon.

IDEA Paper #40: Getting Students to Read: Fourteen Tips (IDEA Center. Hobson, 2004)
Strategies for motivating students to read course materials; includes Bean’s Student Reading Problem/Solution List as an appendix.

IDEA Paper #41: Student Goal Orientation, Motivation, and Learning (IDEA Center, Svinicki, 2005)
Teachers can affect student motivation in ways that either facilitate or impede learning. This paper describes why this is so, and offers specific suggestions for promoting positive student motivation. Read more »


Case-based Teaching

With case-based teaching, students develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real-life scenarios. The articles in this section explain how to use cases in teaching and provide case studies for the natural sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines.

Teaching with Case Studies (Stanford University, 1994)

This article from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning describes the rationale for using case studies, the process for choosing appropriate cases, and tips for how to implement them in college courses.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (University of Buffalo)

This site offers resources and examples specific to teaching in the sciences. This includes the “UB Case Study Collection,” an extensive list of ready-to-use cases in a variety of science disciplines. Each case features a PDF handout describing the case, as well as teaching notes.

The Case Method and the Interactive Classroom (Foran, 2001, NEA Higher Education Journal) Read more »


Active learning is a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning. This section provides links to bibliographies, research summaries, articles, and other resources about active learning.

Active Learning Continuum

This handout graphically represents the relative complexity of different active learning techniques. It also provides brief descriptions for each of the activities on the continuum.

Videos of Arthur F. Thurnau Professors: Engaging Students in the Classroom and Beyond

Arthur F. Thurnau Professorships are awarded annually to tenured U-M faculty who have made outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. This series of videos documents the ways in which these professors stimulate student engagement in their courses. There are also summary point pages that provide easy to follow strategies. Read more »