Developing and Teaching Online Courses

As you build your online course, use these downloadable templates to help ensure that you’re still addressing learning outcomes. They’re helpful in ensuring that Miami’s online learning meets the same educational experience and rigor as on-ground courses and programs. For a more thorough overview of online course design best practices and models, refer to our guides.

Mapping Your Course

Use this Miami Online resource to help you map your online course materials to your learning outcomes and define module-level learning objectives.

Make a copy of the course map

screenshot of course map template
Ensuring Course Quality

Miami Online uses a set of quality standards based on best practices for online teaching and learning. The course design and delivery rubrics pull from Quality Matters and OSCQR (the Online Course Quality Review Rubric) and include some specific measurements tailored to Miami University’s commitment to academic excellence. When building your online course, you can use these standards as a checklist; once your course is ready for delivery, verify that it meets the expectations of a high-quality online course.

Make a copy of the course design rubric

Make a copy of the course delivery rubric

Creating an Instructor Guide

If you’re developing or coordinating an online course that will be taught by more than one instructor (e.g., courses with multiple sections) or may be taught by another faculty, you can provide notes on additional instructional materials, specific areas of difficulty, and strategies for success.

Make a copy of the instructor guide template

Additional Miami Resources

From the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)

The CCARIT (Comprehensive Course Assessment Review and Improvement Tool) is a collection of prompts and questions that help you consider, analyze, and improve the features of assessment practices and materials in your courses.

Review and download the CCARIT

View more CTE resources

From the Howe Center for Writing Excellence (HCWE)

HThe HCWE has put together various guides and bibliographies to help you adapt to online instruction, learn more about teaching online, and specifically teaching writing online.

  • Resources for Teaching Online
  • Resources for Teaching Writing Online
  • Facilitate Effective Online Discussions
  • Facilitate Effective Group and Team Work
  • Facilitate Effective Online Peer Response
  • Give Feedback to Online Writers
  • Support Graduate Students Remotely

View Howe’s resources for online instruction

Customizing Your Canvas Course

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, there are many ways to adapt and style your Canvas course for your needs. You can start with a basic template to structure your course or add flourish and visual elements to enhance your course design.

Import a Basic Template

We’ve uploaded a minimal template to the Canvas Commons that you can import directly into your course. The template includes information for students about online learning, a “getting started” module, sample syllabus language, and module placeholders that can be customized to fit your course.

Download the template

Style Your Course with HTML/CSS

Are you skilled with HTML? If so, you can unlock even more design possibilities with Miami Online’s custom Canvas CSS. Self-enroll in our Style Template Guide to access a menu of style elements that can enhance your course’s visual design.

Access the style guide

Miami Presentation Templates

Download these presentation templates to create Google Sheets or PowerPoint slides for your lectures. You can also use these templates to enhance your self-produced videos.

Modern Style

PowerPoint | Google Slides

Classic Style

PowerPoint | Google Slides

Miami Zoom Backgrounds

In addition to the Zoom backgrounds that IT and UCM have pre-loaded, you can find some Miami Zoom backgrounds here:

Campus Beauty
Download JPG (471KB)
Aerial Photo
Download JPG (500KB)

You can find more backgrounds from the Alumni Association and Miami University Regionals.


PhotoShelter is Miami’s digital asset management system housing official university photography that is available to the Miami community.

To request a PhotoShelter account, log in to PhotoShelter, or enroll in PhotoShelter training, visit University Communications and Marketing’s website.

Learn more from UCM
PhotoShelter houses Miami University’s digital photo archive.

Syllabus Language

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is at the heart of the mission and values of Miami University and is an expectation of all students. Maintaining academic integrity reflects your character and underpins your learning and understanding of the course material.

[Recommend including a statement specific to discipline/profession and the purpose of the course. See and edit the general statement below as necessary.]

Cutting corners or cheating in this class will cheat you out of learning. This class is a foundational course in the Foundations of Business Analytics certificate. If you do not understand the concepts learned in this class, you will struggle with your future studies and career. Try your best, manage your time well, ask questions, and be ethical.

Academic integrity is a partnership between me, the instructor, and you, the student. As the instructor of this course, my role is to facilitate learning and provide you with clear guidelines and feedback to help you maintain your academic integrity. Your role in this course is to take responsibility for your learning, complete all assignments in an honest manner, and ask for clarification from me if you are unsure how to do so.

[Recommend listing specific acts that you wish to draw particular attention to for your students (general or specific to assignments) and include specific statements on collaboration as well as expectations for writing/citation]

Maintaining academic integrity comes down to how seriously you take learning, being responsible for your own learning, and the choices you make about what kind of student you will be. I promise to uphold my end of our academic partnership in this class, and I hope you choose to do the same.

Student Guide to Academic Integrity

Suspected Dishonesty

Any suspected instances of academic dishonesty will be handled under Miami University’s Academic Integrity policy. It is a student’s responsibility to read this policy. Please note that lack of knowledge or understanding of the appropriate academic conduct is not an excuse for committing academic dishonesty.

Students who are found responsible for committing academic dishonesty will receive a sanction that ranges from a zero on the assignment to an F in the course, which could contain the AD transcript notation. Students who are found responsible for committing two acts of dishonesty (academic or Code of Student Conduct section 102 (Dishonesty)) automatically will be suspended from Miami University.

Accessibility/ADA Standards

Miami University is committed to ensuring equal access to students with disabilities. Miami’s Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) assists students with determining eligibility for services and accommodation planning. Miami’s AccessMU provides resources and guidance toward equal opportunity for all individuals. Refer to Miami University’s Accessible Technology Policy for definitions and additional information.

Students who are entitled to disability-related academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, etc., must register with SDS to receive accommodations in university courses. Please understand that formal communication from SDS must be presented prior to the coordination of accommodations for this course. For more information, students may contact SDS at (513) 529-1541 or via email at

Accessibility Statements

View accessibility statements for Canvas and Kaltura below:

Netiquette Expectations

At Miami University, there are two core principles: love and honor. We should apply those principles not only in the face-to-face classroom environment but also in the online course space. Diversity has many manifestations, including diversity of thought, opinion, and values. We encourage all learners to be polite and respectful of that diversity and refrain from inappropriate or offensive commentary. If indecent or objectionable content is emailed or posted on the class site, the teacher may recommend college disciplinary action.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution. Learners, as well as faculty, should be guided by common sense and basic etiquette. Present criticism in a positive light. The following are good guidelines to follow:

  • Never post harassing, threatening, or embarrassing comments.
  • Never post content that is harmful, abusive; racially, ethnically, or religiously offensive; vulgar; sexually explicit; or otherwise potentially offensive.
  • Never post, transmit, promote, or distribute content that is known to be illegal.
  • If you disagree with someone, respectfully respond to the subject, not the person.

Remember that “tone” can usually be detected accurately in verbal communication but is often misunderstood in electronic communication. Because of this phenomenon, we encourage you to err on the side of politeness.

*adapted from Regents Online Campus Collaborative

Virtual Conferencing (Webex or Zoom)

How to Join

Joining from Canvas:

You can join our Cisco Webex or Zoom meetings by going to our Canvas shell and clicking the “Cisco Webex” or “Zoom” link in the left-hand course links. Then, click the “Join” link next to that day’s session.

Joining from URL:

You will receive a URL for Cisco Webex or Zoom meetings via email/announcement/calendar invite. Click on the URL, and be sure to sign in with your Miami credentials.

Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct applies to online behavior as well as in-person or classroom behavior. You should be professional and respectful when attending class on a virtual conferencing platform like Cisco Webex or Zoom. Any misconduct will be reported accordingly.


Some of the sessions in this course will be recorded or live-streamed. Such recordings/streaming will only be available to students registered for this class. The faculty member will notify you if any of these recordings/streaming will be shared with anyone outside of this course and obtain your prior written consent before sharing.  These recordings are the intellectual property of the faculty member [and  ______] and may not be shared or reproduced without the explicit, written consent of the faculty member [and ______]. Further, students may not share these sessions with those not in the class or upload them to any other online environment. Doing so would be a breach of the Code of Student Conduct.


Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image consent to have their video or image recorded. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who unmute during class and participate orally consent to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the “chat” feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. 

Additionally, you can find more information about Webex’s privacy policies on Cisco’s Trust Portal / Zoom’s privacy policies on their Privacy web page.

Access to Zoom in China

If you are a member of the Miami community and want to use Zoom in China, download the Zoom Client for Meetings from the Zoom Download Center (China). While you can download from this link in the US, it is only recommended if/when you’re in China, as it points to a Chinese server. If you’re not in China, use one of the other options listed in How to Join. 

Note: This is the only official Zoom client authorized within China. Other clients may exist but are not permitted and could put you or Miami at risk of a data breach.

Connection Issues

If you experience problems connecting to Webex or Zoom with your computer:

  • Try using another device such as a tablet or smartphone
  • Contact IT Help for support (513-529-7900)