Teaching Methods


Teaching and learning frameworks are models for course design that help instructors align learning goals with classroom instruction and activities. Such models provide a encouraging and inclusive learning environment. These frameworks often entail activities that integrate lecture with discussion, active learning, and self-reflection.

The University of Texas at Arlington offers these four types of online courses:

Online asynchronous: All instruction and testing is online. All classes are asynchronous (recorded) with no requirement for students to come to campus on a specific day or time. Testing occurs online and may be required at a specific day and time.
Online synchronous: All instruction and testing is online at a scheduled day and time. There is no requirement for students to come to campus. Testing occurs online and may be required at a specific day and time.
Face-to-face: Students must attend class in person and on campus. Classrooms will allow for social distancing and masks are required while in class. After Thanksgiving, however, all classes and testing will be online only and may be required at a specific day and time.
Hybrid: These classes combine online and face-to-face instruction. Students may be required to attend face-to-face classes one or more days per week, rotate days on campus or take exams and make presentations face-to-face. The online portions of the course may be live (synchronous) or recorded (asynchronous).


Backward Design (BD) is an educational philosophy that calls for the instructor to determine the desired end goals students should reach before developing the instructional content for the course. BD is beneficial in that it improves the attainment of desired learning outcomes, it is easy to remember and explain, and it is transferable to almost any instructional situation.

Integrated Course

Integrated Course Design (ICD) builds from Backward Design (BD). It arranges the learning goals, feedback and assessment, and teaching and learning activities into a simultaneous planning strategy fit for higher education. Using the 12-step guide of ICD, instructors can create and align learning outcomes, classroom activities, rubrics, assessment protocols, and the syllabus in light of the context and potential challenges. The primary benefit of using this approach is that it considers the environmental and contextual factors impacting student learning.

Online Course

The online world provides unprecedented channels for faculty to explore new ways to broadcast their teaching and share it with the world. In order to provide effective and high quality learning experiences, online courses must encompass rich media, interactive features, clearly defined objectives and outcomes, and polished content, along with fostering a robust community of engaged learners. Effective online course design can increase the potential for learners to take charge of their own learning growth.

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