Learning From The Best: Techniques Used By Top-rated Online Instructors



This post is provided by guest blogger, Tricia DeFay, graduate student at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, MBA in Health Administration program.


In the article “Teaching Strategies of Award-winning Online Instructors” Ralph (2020) looks at a recent study performed by Kumar et al (2019) that examined the course design and teaching practices used by top-rated online instructors. Eight award-winning university instructors were interviewed for the study. Data analysis revealed these five key elements:

  • Provide relevant and authentic course materials and ask the students to interpret and analyze them to boost engagement and critical thinking
  • Use a variety of multimedia formats to provide material, including reading, audio, video, and interactive content; improves accessibility for students who may have difficulty with a particular medium
  • Allow students to create content such as podcasts and digital stories, individually and collaboratively
  • Provide reflection activities
  • Explain the purpose of assessments, activities, and technologies being used

Performing evaluations was also mentioned as an important element. As one teacher in the study explained, there’s more to teaching online than just simply taking the materials from your traditional class and placing them online (Ralph, 2020).


The article is very brief. The information provided in the article is credible. It was derived from a research study that was published in the Online Learning Consortium’s peer-reviewed journal. Beyond listing the main research findings from the journal article, Ralph (2020) does not provide much insight of his own on the topic. This article would be helpful for anyone who is looking for effective teaching strategies to incorporate into an online format.


Ralph, M. (2020, Apr 17). Teaching strategies of award-winning online instructors. George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/teaching-strategies-award-winning-online-instructors

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