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Adopt these 10 Online Teaching Principles from Oregon State Ecampus

A woman uses a laptop while also writing on a notepad

Research-based principles are available under a Creative Commons license

Editor’s note: This article was updated Oct. 11, 2023, to reflect updates made to Oregon State’s Online Teaching Principles.

Quality online education happens when courses are well-designed and well-facilitated. With that in mind, Oregon State University Ecampus is excited to share a vital resource, the Online Teaching Principles.

The principles draw from research in online teaching pedagogy and practice, and they provide the groundwork for talking about what strong online teaching looks like across disciplines. They align with the new seventh edition of the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric.

“Online course design standards are essential in developing quality online courses and programs. The Ecampus Online Teaching Principles build on our strong course design foundation to help faculty successfully facilitate online, asynchronous courses,” said Shannon Riggs, executive director of academic programs and learning innovation for OSU Ecampus.

The 10 principles guide faculty to provide regular and substantive interaction for students and to cultivate an inclusive, equitable and supportive learning community:

1. Stay current

2. Encourage equity

3. Communicate clearly and quickly

4. Provide notice

5. Commit to timeliness

6. Be present

7. Foster community

8. Support students

9. Reach out and refer

10. Cultivate inclusion

“The Online Teaching Principles are at the heart of our faculty development suite,” said Katherine McAlvage, Ecampus assistant director of faculty development and support. “New instructor training introduces faculty to each principle, and advanced professional development opportunities take a deep-dive into specific principles and their research-based applications.”

The principles offer a framework to ground conversations about high-quality online teaching and the attitudes and actions that positively impact online student success and engagement.

Each principle is accompanied by an annotation that provides suggestions about how to put the principle into action. Links to supporting research and a full bibliography are included for reference and further study.

“We’re excited to offer a new resource that articulates quality teaching practices that OSU faculty strive to deliver in providing engaging learning experiences for our students,” said Karen Watté, Ecampus director of course development and training.

A leader in online education, Oregon State Ecampus has made these teaching principles available under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 4.0). They can be used in faculty development for new online educators and by experienced faculty to reflect on their online teaching practices.

Read the principles

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