Sprint ahead: Online faculty development program

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Missouri Online offers micro-credentials to faculty and staff as part of the Sprint Ahead program. Complete a single course badge, earn a master badge, or go for a program badge!

We offer self-paced mini-courses in four areas related to online teaching and learning: design, assessment, community, and inclusion. Each course uses the latest scholarship of teaching and learning and asks participants to design and/or develop instructional materials that align with current best practices. Over time, we plan to offer additional areas.

For each course badge, you’ll spend about three hours completing these activities in Canvas:

  1. Context: Review the latest information and guidance for each topic.
  2. Connect: Book a 1-hour virtual support appointment (via Microsoft Teams) with a Missouri Online instructional or media designer.
  3. Create: Create/update relevant instructional materials and share your work.

For a master badge, complete three courses of your choice in a single area. Earn all four master badges, and you’ll be awarded a Sprint Ahead program badge.

Enroll at any time through our Missouri Online Teaching Catalog or access descriptions and enrollment links at the bottom of this page. Participants need Missouri System login credentials. Please contact teachingonline@umsystem.edu with any questions.

Area 1: Design

Complete any 3 sprints in this section to earn the Design Master Badge.

Sprint 1A

Create or reorganize an existing module that aligns with your teaching style. Learn the importance of structural design in Canvas and create informative Canvas pages. 

Enroll in Sprint 1.A: Information Architecture: Using Canvas Effectively

Sprint 1B

As an instructor, the materials you are most likely to share with your students include Word files and PowerPoint slide decks. This sprint will guide you through the core skills of digital accessibility and how to apply those skills in these documents. After you have finished, you will have at least four documents you have remediated for digital accessibility.

Enroll in Sprint 1.B: Designing Digitally Accessible Documents

Sprint 1C

Create a visual piece of instructional media (either a one minute video or an infographic) that includes key design strategies for working with instructional media. In this sprint, you will also incorporate active learning strategies into your course content.

Enroll in Sprint 1.C: Creating Effective Instructional Media

Sprint 1D

This sprint teaches the quick drafting method to unlock your creative potential and craft a set of directions or a teaching philosophy statement that conforms to plain language standards. It will also help you decide how much technical language is appropriate for your subject and audience.

Enroll in Sprint 1.D: Plain Language Writing

Photo of a woman participating in an online synchronous class

In this sprint, you will design a lesson plan for an engaging, quality synchronous online class.

Enroll in Sprint 1.E: Sensational Synchronous Sessions

Photo of wooden letterpress type

Learn about selecting and using fonts and typefaces appropriately to design beautiful documents. In this sprint, you will create a document that has well-selected fonts and meets accessibility standards in contrast and page structure.

Enroll in Sprint 1.F: Typography

Photo of an audience listening to a speaker

Review best practices and work with a designer to create a new (or modified) presentation that captures attention and effectively communicates information.

Enroll in Sprint 1.G: Presentations Perfected

Area 2: Assessment

Complete the 3 sprints in this section to earn the Assessment Master Badge.

Sprint 2A

Learning outcomes serve as the road map for a course. In this sprint, you will use Bloom’s Taxonomy and the SMART technique to create or revise course- and module-level learning outcomes.

Enroll in Sprint 2.A: Learning Outcomes: Edujargon or Educessity?

Sprint 2B

In this sprint, you will revise an existing lecture or learning activity to include two active learning strategies or tools. Active learning is an instructional method that engages students in the learning process beyond listening and passive note taking.

Enroll in Sprint 2.B: Active Learning

Sprint 2C

Move beyond lecturing and testing by incorporating authentic learning and assessment into your online course. In this sprint, you will develop (or revise) an authentic activity that encourages meaningful and relevant learning experiences. 

Enroll in Sprint 2.C: Centering Relevance with Authentic Pedagogy

Photo of a female college student with a backpack

As an online instructor, you want to trust that your students’ work reflects their honest efforts and abilities, but you might fear that cheating is inevitable in the online environment. Is that the case? Let’s discuss how to create a learning environment that supports academic integrity in any modality.

Enroll in Sprint 2.D: Academic Integrity

Area 3: Community

Complete the 3 sprints in this section to earn the Community Master Badge.

Sprint 3A

In this sprint, you will apply the Peralta Online Equity Rubric to assess your online course design and teaching. Additionally, you will identify strategies for applying the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in online teaching, and use UDL to address a “pinch point” in your online course design.

Enroll in Sprint 3.A: Inclusive Online Teaching

Sprint 3B

Zoom meetings don’t need to be watered-down versions of in-person classes. In this sprint, participants will discover a variety of high-engagement, active learning strategies for effective class discussions that they can employ in (and around) their synchronous meetings by taking advantage of tools already available in Zoom and Canvas.

Enroll in Sprint 3.B: Less Zoom Doom, More Engagement

Sprint 3C

In this sprint, you will learn about practical and effective strategies to address the common challenges of online group learning. You will adapt a group collaboration plan to help learners initiate group conversations and foster group cohesion, create a peer assessment, and develop a grading strategy. 

Enroll in Sprint 3.C: Effective Online Group Work

Image of people gathered in a circle discussion

In this sprint, participants will explore best practices for asynchronous online discussions and consider varied approaches to these discussions.

Enroll in Sprint 3.D: Engaging Asynchronous Discussion Boards

Area 4: Inclusion

Complete any 3 sprints in this section to earn the Inclusion Master Badge. Note that these courses are also included:

Photo of a person pressing a button on a keyboard labeled as accessibility

Dive into the world of digital accessibility as you learn how to create accessible Canvas pages and related multimedia. You will gain a deep understanding of why digital accessibility matters and the core skills required to make online accessible.

Enroll in Sprint 4.A: Digital Accessibility for Canvas

Woman hand takes e-reader from shelf with paper books and small potted plant

In this sprint, you will search for, evaluate, and/or create OER or an outline of a renewable assignment inspired by open pedagogy.

Enroll in Sprint 4.B: Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Pedagogy