Being engaged with your online learners throughout the course is one of the three biggest weaknesses of online teachers. It is also one of the three biggest ways to take your online course to the next level, making it a superior learning experience for your learners.
   Come experience how to do it from the creator of the concept and practice of ‘continual engagement’ in teaching.  Discover how to build student success through your interaction, how to give online learners feedback, communicating with them about everything from subject matter to delicate issues to grading.
   You will come away with advanced, practical, how-to tips from one of the foremost authorities on fostering online discussion. And you will see how your instructor models great interaction and engagement in the online environment.
One month course, Mary Dereshiwsky, COI, instructor
 optional additional $40 USD paid later for graduate credit from the University of South Dakota. 

Course Outline

Unit 1
How Continual Engagement Helps You Foster Effective Online Discussions
  • What is continual engagement?
  • Why is continual engagement important?
  • Breaking down the barriers to effective continual engagement in your discussion interaction

Unit 2
Building Your Students’ Success through Your Interaction
  • Why continual engagement in online discussion is important to your students’ success
  • Choosing your words carefully in discussion interaction
  • Strategies to use at the beginning of your term
  • Strategies to use as the term gets underway
  • Strategies to use when things get hectic
Unit 3
Assessing Your Students’ Performance
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Communicating with students about grades
  • Some special challenges of group work and how to overcome them
Unit 4
Keeping Your Communication Skills Sharp
  • How networking with your peers can build your skills
  • Using break times effectively
  • Working with an assistant
  • How online interaction enhances your face-to-face instruction

Question MarkAbout online learning

Online learning is a fun, enjoyable and very productive way to learn. Millions of people are learning online each year. You will engage with the instructor and other participants. You will get to know your instructor and other participants. You may make friends.  It’s easy. It’s fun. 

GearsHow the Course Works

It is easy to participate in your online course. After you register, you will be given a web address to go to get into your online classroom.  You will have a password and use your email address and password to gain access.

Once inside the online classroom, here’s what you can expect.

CalendarParticipate when you want

You can participate any time of day or evening. The online classroom is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are no live real-time requirements or meetings. You decide when you participate.
For the best learning, participants should log into the course on 2-3 different days of the week.

ChecklistWhat you will do

For each Unit, you will:

  • Read the print readings (about 20 pages a week)
  • Have the option of accessing the online readings
  • Listen to the audio presentation for the Unit and view the slides
  • Have the option of taking a self-quiz to see how much you have learned
  • Engage in written online discussion with your instructor and other participants

For best learning, you should make one or more comments at 2-3 different times each week.
The content (readings, audio lectures, slides) and self quizzes are accessible for the entire course, so you can work ahead, or go back and review again, at your convenience.


The Discussion for each Unit lasts one week. All comments are made in writing and can be made at any time of the day or night.

Your instructor will log into the Discussion area at least once a day and answer questions, make comments, and respond to comments by you and the other participants.

We encourage you to make 2-3 comments each week to maximize your learning and enjoyment of the course.

It’s easy. It’s fun.

Next offering(s):

Advanced Teaching Online
September 3 - 28

Designing Online Instruction
October 7 - November 1

Fostering Online Discussion
August 5 - 30
November 4 - 29

Add Certificate To Cart
$495.0000 USD

Ave. hours 16, 1.6 CEUs/ILUs
$195 USD

About Your Instructor
Mary I. Dereshiwsky, COI,  is a leading authority on online teaching and creator of the concept and practice of ‘continual engagement’ in teaching.  She has taught thousands of faculty about teaching online, has critiqued hundreds of online courses, and heads up the advisory board of the Certified Online Instructor (COI), the leading designation for online faculty in higher education. Dereshiwsky is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. She has taught thousands of students in both credit and noncredit situations.  Her new book.Continual Engagement: Fostering Online Discussion, is the leading book on the subject.

Course objectives
  • Understand how your continual engagement maximizes your online students’ success
  • Learn how to keep your online course communication momentum going strong throughout the term
  • Learn strategies for continuing to develop your online communication potential
Course outcomes

   After attending this course, you will be:
  • Become a more effective online communicator with your students
  • Be able to model the benefits of continual engagement for your students
  • Understand how to assess your students’ online performance in meaningful ways
  • Know how to foster effective online discussion
Completion Requirements