Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning across Academic Disciplines

Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning across Academic Disciplines

Ross C. Alexander, Ph.D. (Editor)

310 pages;
ISBN: 978-1-942695-08-0 | paper | $30.00
ISBN: 978-1-942695-09-7 | eBook | $30.00
November 2017

This book can be purchased from Amazon, or from your favorite independent bookseller.

George Mason University Press titles are distributed by the University of Virginia Press.


This title is freely available for a period to assist educators transitioning to online learning on the Project Muse site:

Online teaching and learning has surged in recent years, and faculty who normally teach in face-to-face settings are increasingly called upon to teach blended, hybrid, and fully online courses. Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning across Academic Disciplines provides insights from experienced university teachers and scholars across multiple disciplines—including social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and professional programs such as nursing, education, and business administration—who share innovative practices, pedagogies, and instructional design techniques.

This work highlights and features effective, practical, innovative, and engaging best-practices and approaches in online teaching and instructional design that can assist university faculty members and teachers, course designers and developers, and administrators invested and involved in online education. Using a common theme and structure, each chapter is co-authored by faculty members possessing a wealth of experience and credentialing in online teaching and learning and instructional design in the relevant discipline or sub-discipline. Chapters include best-practices, approaches, and techniques in multiple courses and sub-fields within the relevant discipline as well as relevant, innovative, and specific tools and strategies that improve student engagement and outcomes.

The book will appeal to faculty members and administrators in higher education teaching or designing online courses or entire online curricula, as well as instructional design staff working with and training faculty. All contributors have taught and/or designed multiple online courses over many years. Readers will be especially interested to discover lessons about how contributors have successfully taught and designed courses in disciplines not typically associated with online learning, such as mathematics, composition/writing, drawing, “hard” sciences, and speech, among others.

Table of Contents
Introduction: Ross C. Alexander, Ph.D.

Part One • Humanities and Social sciences
1 Communication Studies: Fostering Effective Communication in Online Courses
Rosalie S. Aldrich, Renee Kaufmann, Natalia Rybas

2 Composition and Writing: Embedding Success: Supplemental Assistance in Online Writing Instruction
Sarah E. Harris, Tanya Perkins, J. Melissa Blankenship

3 English: Facilitating Online Learning through Discussions in the English Classroom: Tools for Success and Stumbling Blocks to Avoid
Margaret Thomas-Evans, Steven Petersheim, Edwina Helton

4 Political Science: Engaging Students through Effective Instruction and Course Design in Political Science
Chera LaForge, Kristoffer Rees, Lilia Alexander, Ross C. Alexander

5 Criminal Justice: Calming, Critical Thinking, and Case Studies: The Politics, Pitfalls, and Practical Solutions for Teaching Criminal Justice in an Online Environment
Stephanie N. Whitehead, M. Michaux Parker

6 Psychology: Student misconceptions of psychology: Steps for helping online students toward a scientific understanding of psychology
Beth A. Trammell, Gregory Dam, Amanda Kraha

7 World Languages (Spanish and French): Best Practices in Online Second Language Teaching: Theoretical Considerations in Course Design and Implementation
Dianne Burke Moneypenny, Julien Simon

8 History: Teaching History Online: Old Struggles, New Pathways
Justin Carroll, Christine Nemcik, Daron Olson

9 Fine Arts (Drawing): Best Practices in Online Teaching for Drawing
Carrie Longley, Kevin Longley

10 Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography: Igniting the Passion:  Examples for Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography
Denise Bullock, Katherine Miller Wolf, Wazir Mohamed, Marc Wolf

11 Philosophy: The Proof is in the Pedagogy: A Philosophical Examination of the Practice of Backward Design
Mary A. Cooksey

Part Two • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
12 Biological Sciences: Online Teaching and Learning in Biological Sciences
Parul Khurana, Neil Sabine

13 Mathematics: Best Practices of Online Education in Mathematics
Young Hwan You, Josh Beal

Part Three • Professional Programs
14 Education: Building Online Learning Communities on the Foundation of Teacher Presence
Jamie Buffington-Adams, Denice Honaker, Jerry Wilde

15 Economics and Finance: Using Simulation Games to Engage Students in Online Advanced Finance Courses
Oi Lin Cheung, Litao Zhong

16 Nursing: Meeting QSEN Competencies in the Online Environment
Paula Kerler Baumann, Tonya Breymier, Karen Clark

Author Biographies

Additional information


Date Published

August 2017


978-1-942695-08-0, 978-1-942695-09-7


310 pages