• FutureLearn logo

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students

Explore online teaching with this practical course for educators designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

87,802 enrolled on this course

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Digital upgradeFree

Discover practical ways to teach and support your students online

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, there has been an increasing move towards teaching online as schools and universities shut.

Even for experienced practitioners, this situation presents challenges. However, with the right knowledge, you can overcome the hurdles presented by teaching online and embrace its possibilities.

On this course, you’ll be given practical steps towards online teaching and student support. You can reflect on your own work, adapt your approaches, and share your stories with a global community of educators who’ll help you to get started and keep going in uncertain times.


  • Week 1

    Start teaching online

    • Welcome to the course

      We'll start by finding the most pressing challenge we need to address in this course. You'll also meet the FutureLearn team, introduce yourself, and start finding others like you within this emerging community of practice.

    • Preparing your students for success

      Who are you teaching? Put your students at the centre of decisions, and consider ways you can help remove barriers to their online learning success.

    • Building an online learning activity

      The foundations of lesson planning and design. Explore existing resources and then how to build and deliver an online learning activity. We'll start small and keep it simple so we can keep your students active and learning.

    • Weekly wrap-up

      A space to find answers to the key questions being asked - by the Educators and our amazing course Mentors. We'll also reflect on the week and set out the plans for what's coming next.

  • Week 2

    Maintaining student interest and engagement

    • Welcome to Week 2

      This week will focus more on supporting student interest and engagement. We start with a check-in with you, to see how you are doing and an activity try to help you connect with others in this emerging community of practice.

    • Supporting your students' learning

      How can we maintain students’ motivation and engagement when transitioning to online teaching and learning? Consider some approaches to help keep students focussed on learning.

    • Approaches and techniques to engage and interact online

      Building on what’s been covered so far this activity explores some simple principles and practical ideas to get going with selecting or creating online learning experiences for your students.

    • Weekly wrap-up

      A space to find answers to the key questions being asked - by the Educators and our amazing course Mentors. We'll also reflect on the week and set out the plans for what's coming for the final week of the course.

  • Week 3

    From a response course to a community resource

    • Welcome to Week 3

      The final week of the course. We will be covering assessment, feedback, reflection and the final chance to ask questions for answering by the Mentors and Educators.

    • Assessment and feedback

      What makes an assessment ‘good’ or ‘bad’? What about feedback? And how does this fit into the online teaching and learning environment? Is this an opportunity to replicate or innovate?

    • Reflection and evaluation

      Reflection can help us become better teachers, both face to face and online.

    • Peer feedback and your weekly reflection

      A chance to share one of the approaches you have changed as a new online teacher and get valuable feedback from your peers on this course, as well as reflect more generally on your week of teaching online.

    • Wrapping up the week and guiding next steps

      For most of us this is just the beginning of your learning journey as a teacher moving online. In this final activity we’ll suggest how to continuing learning, offer some final advice and point you towards some next steps to take.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop plans to set your students up for success
  • Create and share approaches and techniques for maintaining continuity while moving teaching and learning online
  • Discuss the benefits and challenges of moving classes from face-to-face to online
  • Identify techniques and approaches for engaging your students online
  • Adapt your practice to the online context
  • Collect, review and evaluate student feedback on your new approaches
  • Discuss how to manage the personal impact of teaching online

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for educators, teachers, lecturers, and trainers who have to rapidly move from face-to-face to online teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who will you learn with?

Head of Learning @ FutureLearn. We work with our colleagues and global educators to help ensure every learner has a meaningful experience. I am also a learner on many FutureLearn courses.

I'm a Learning Designer at FutureLearn, and I love empowering people to build relevant, useful and engaging online learning experiences.

I'm a Learning Designer at FutureLearn, also completing a PhD looking at online learning in the global South, and my research cite is Dili, Timor-Leste.

Learning Designer at FutureLearn. Interested in the stories we tell, how we tell them, and why. Pronouns they/them/their.

Who developed the course?


The social learning platform with hundreds of online courses from a quarter of the world’s top universities.

Learner reviews

What's included?

FutureLearn are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: