Explore Online Courses @ UAF

2020 Course Spotlight Series

An exciting new presentation series is coming your way starting Friday, June 12. Join eCampus instructional designers and selected faculty as we take a peek into their quality online courses at UAF. Every two weeks we will be presenting a new online course and hosting a Q/A session via Zoom. Find more information via specific event links below:

Join us for Q&A every other Friday this summer from 10-11am.

Find Zoom link for each Course Spotlight via the individual session pages below or on the eCampus Faculty Development Calendar.

Showcase Courses

Check out what other instructors are doing to build dynamic learning experiences for UAF students. The courses listed below are available for faculty to view and explore on their own.   Some of these are open courses that are publicly viewable and others are Blackboard demo courses that faculty have shared for viewing. If you would like assistance implementing an idea you found here, please attend one of our open lab sessions. If have any questions, please contact us.

Can I use WordPress for class discussions?

Discussion, WordPress, Open Course

This “Academic Writing About Science & Technology” course (ENGL 213), taught by Christie Hinrichs, uses WordPress both to deliver materials and invite student discussion. Class discussions use WordPress’s “comment” feature, which does not require students to sign-in or be familiar with WordPress.

How can I create a lab-based course for online learners?

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-11-27-58-amOnline Lab, Student Research, Canvas, Open Course

This “Behavioral Neuroscience Lab” taught by Abel Bult-Ito features biomedical research on compulsive-like mice, including behavioral data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results. The course (BIOL 193) is conducted completely online, offering an intensive lab experience to online learners.

How might I use game mechanics in my course?

Game mechanics, Role Play, WordPress, Open Course

Robert Prince’s “Journalism 101: Media & Culture’ uses role play and game mechanics to create a student world for students to explore as they work through course materials. Prince has created a fictional newspaper in which students are staff tasked with making decisions that demonstrate their understanding of the media climate.

How could I use badging in my course?

Game Mechanics, Badging , Case Studies, WordPress, Open Course

Jessica Larsen’s “Geological Hazards’ course uses badging to recognize student achievements and case studies to connect student work to the real world.

How can I provide good instructor presence in my online course?


decorative wheatInstructor Presence, Quality Matters Certified, Blackboard, Screencasting, FAQ Page

“College Algebra for Calculus’ (MATH 151), taught by Hilary VanSpronsen, is a Quality Matters Certified course in Blackboard that features good screencasting practice for instructor presence, an FAQ page, and solid navigation. Note: You must be logged into Blackboard to view this course. Self-enroll by clicking on “+Enroll” button on menu lower left once logged in.  

How can I make my assessments meaningful?

older photo with ungulate and people standing around a corrallAssessments, Rural Student Focus, Open Course

Greg Finstad’s “History of Alaskan Ungulates (HLRM 120)  asks students to develop research projects that are  later incorporated into the course as learning materials for  subsequent semesters.  The course is part of the High Latitude Range Management program, targeted primarily at rural students.  

What does a graduate-level Quality Matters Certified course look like?


decorative hands
Quality Matters Certified, Blackboard, Graduate Level

Joanne Healy’s “Culturally Responsive Collaboration’ (EDSE 640) is a graduate-level course hosted in Blackboard. It is Quality Matters certified (along with every course in the EDSE program) and is a good representation of what this type of certification for quality can look like.  Note: You must be logged into Blackboard to view this course. Self-enroll by clicking on “+Enroll” button on menu lower left once logged in.  

How can I use a metaphor to guide the student learning experience?

Project-based, WordPress, Slack, Open Coursedecorative mark the map alaska hand

Kendell Newman Sadiik’s “Digital Storytelling’(ED 677) uses the metaphor of travel to take students on a road trip of exploration and creation. Content and reflection are hosted on WordPress and uses Slack for additional discussion.

What are some platforms other than Blackboard for learning experiences?

cabin entry area shown with bubbles to click on for portal informationInteractive Technology, WordPress, Open Course

Sarah Stanley’s “Research Writing’ course (ENGL 414) uses WordPress and an interactive, 360-degree space to deliver learning materials and assignments. Class discussions are conducted in Slack, and group work uses a combination of tools, including Slack and Google Drive.

How can I best organize content in my course?

spaceman with reflection in helmetTutorials and resources, weekly lessons, WordPress, Open Course Materials

“Fundamentals of Graphics, Animation, Audio, and Video for the Web’ (CITS 221), offered by eCampus instructional designer Christen Bouffard, includes Tutorials and a Resources section, both available across the site via the main menu. The course’s weekly lessons are also thorough and clearly organized.

How can I help pace students?

Weekly schedule, Google Classroom, WordPress, Slack, Open Course Materials

Madara Mason’s “2D Design’ (ART 161) suggests a weekly schedule that students can use to work through course content and assignments. The course content is also made available on a weekly basis, so the instructor can control students’ pace as they move through the course. Interaction happens in Slack and Google Classroom.

Can I assign hands-on work to students in my online course?

older photo with ungulate and people standing around a corrallHands On Projects, Rural Student Focus, Open Course

In “Health Issues in Domesticated Herds’ (HLRM 170),  students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of how to conduct a field necropsy by conducting their own field necropsy. Taught by Greg Finstad, this course is part of the High Latitude Range Management program, targeted primarily at rural students.

Is there an alternative to weekly module-based courses?

Canvas, Project-based, Open courseweaving strands

This “Online Pedagogy’ (ED 655) course is taught by Owen Guthrie, executive director of UAF eCampus. The course is online, project-based, and centered around a Community of Inquiry.

How can I combine the best of Blackboard and WordPress for my course?

Homepage, Blackboard, WordPress, Discussion, Open Course Materials

“Website Design’ (CITS 222), taught by instructional designer Janene McMahan, uses a simple homepage to direct students to module content. Students submit assignments via Blackboard but uses a WordPress site to access course content and activities, including weekly “Discussion Forums’.

What does a good 'Getting Started' section look like?

decorative image of an old paintingGetting Started, Blackboard, Organization

“Modern World History’ (HIST 100), taught by Terrence Cole, has a great Getting Started section, good interaction and overall organization. The course is hosted in Blackboard.  Note: You must be logged into Blackboard to view this course. Self-enroll by clicking on “+Enroll” button on menu lower left once logged in.  

How can I use multiple modes of lecture effectively?

decorative image of justiceInstructor Presence, Blackboard, Quality Matters Certified  

Gary Copus’ “Introduction to Justice’ (JUST 110) is a course with excellent instructor presence through video, audio, and extensive written lecture content. It is Quality Matters certified and hosted in Blackboard.  Note: You must be logged into Blackboard to view this course. Self-enroll by clicking on “+Enroll” button on menu lower left once logged in.  

What is good instructor commentary?

decorative daisyWordPress, Instructor Presence, Open Course

“Basic Digital Photography’ is taught by Charles Mason for COJO and offers good instructor commentary and video lectures. It is hosted in WordPress.

How can I encourage meaningful student contribution?

decorative musicInstructor Presence, Student Contribution, Video, WordPress, Open Course

Lisa Kljaich teaches “Explorations in Music’ and uses WordPress for course content and Blackboard for quizzes. All students have to create their own website/blog for extensive contribution of research and discussion. This course is Quality Matters certified.

How might I offer course materials in a hybrid/blended course?

decorative salmonBlended, synchronous, WordPress, Open Course

Peter Westley’s “Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World’ is a good example of hosting course content online for a normally face-to-face course with synchronous sessions.