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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.

95,236 enrolled on this course

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • 100% onlineLearn at your own paceHow it works
  • Digital upgradeFree

Discover practical ways to teach online and support your students

Are you a teacher looking to learn how to teach online successfully in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. This 3-week course will teach you how to adapt from face-to-face teaching to online teaching so that you and your students can get the most out of the school day.

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.

Creating a lesson plan

The course will begin with a discussion about the challenges of online teaching and advice on how to prepare your students for success outside of the classroom.

You’ll learn how to create effective lesson plans for online teaching and think about learning design considerations. We’ll provide useful resources and share some answers to popular questions about teaching online.

Engaging your students

Discover how to build a strong online community by connecting with others, and learn how to create engagement through interaction. You’ll find out how to balance online learning with offline, asynchronous learning.

We’ll be thinking about creating a structure for students during this difficult time and discussing how to build an effective student learning environment from home.

You’ll select and design different approaches aimed at engaging students, and you’ll hear from some students about their experiences with learning online.

Checking progress and providing feedback

In the third and final week of the course, you’ll learn what makes an effective assessment and feedback system. Checking student progress and giving useful feedback is very different in an online context, so it’s important to learn the best methods.


  • 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 the Learning Design Lead at FutureLearn and I love empowering people to build relevant, useful and engaging online learning experiences. I’m also interested in technology, languages, and food :D

I’m a Learning Designer completing a PhD investigating online learning in the global South, and my research site 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?


FutureLearn is jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group and has been providing online courses for learners around the world over the last eight years.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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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:

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