Summer Institute for Online Teaching

Now in its 17th year, UNL’s Summer Institute for Online Teaching (SIOT) provides preparation and training as well as a campus-wide faculty learning community focused on online teaching. Summer Institute is funded and coordinated by Innovative Instructional Design, offered in partnership with Information Technology Services, and facilitated by UNL faculty from several colleges.


The five-week Summer Institute is designed to guide novice online instructors through the steps of course planning and development and explores the unique opportunities and challenges of the online learning environment. Many instructors with some online teaching experience have also found it valuable. Experienced online instructors from a variety of disciplines facilitate the weekly online small-group discussions, answering questions, providing feedback, and sharing from their experiences.


By the end of Summer Institute, participants will be able to:

  • Design or redesign a course in preparation for online delivery
  • Incorporate research-based online instructional best practices
  • Make thoughtful use of a range of Canvas tools
  • Teach informed by the experience of having been an online learner

Organization and Topics

The Summer Institute is organized around five weekly learning modules. Each module features a brief “lesson,” including reading, discussion, and a small assignment, such as creating a portion of an online syllabus. Modules also include examples from UNL online courses and additional resources for exploration. Module topics include:

  • Planning and organizing an online course
  • Instructor presence and building community
  • Developing online content and activities
  • Assessing student learning
  • Managing an online course


Because of the weekly small-group interaction, your commitment is necessary for a productive and successful learning environment and to reap the benefits of the institute. In considering whether you want to register for the Summer Institute, please realize the following expectations for earning a certificate of completion. Participants:

  • Read approximately 30 pages a week
  • Engage in weekly asynchronous discussions
  • Submit small weekly assignments
  • Attend three face-to-face sessions

Participants will need daily access to:


Sushma Jolly
(402) 472-5205

Steven Cain
(402) 472-4349