Online Teaching Academy

The University of Illinois Online Teaching Academy (OTA) is an opportunity for faculty and teaching assistants to review best practices, discuss different pedagogical approaches, and receive hands-on training and support for online teaching and learning. Participants are invited to follow a pace that is guided by weekly newsletters, or they can explore the content in manner that best suits their needs using either the Compass 2g or Moodle learning management system (LMS).

Admission to the OTA is open and rolling for Illinois faculty, staff, and teaching assistants. The academy is presented asynchronously and supported by CITL through integrated live workshops, individual consultations with specialists, and a new online teaching community.

To Join the OTA, please send us a short message with your preferred LMS to

OTA Curriculum

Faculty participating in the OTA have the opportunity to design or redesign an online or hybrid course in a community of fellow instructors with the support of campus experts from CITL, Tech Services, and college-level educational technology units. In addition, participants will learn best practices to support effective teaching and learning in the online classroom including student engagement activities and online assessment options.

The OTA includes four modules, which address the following topics important to online course design and instruction. Participants can easily skip ahead to the module that best suits their current needs.

  • Module 1: Content Creation and Delivery
  • Module 2: Student Engagement
  • Module 3: Assessments in the Online Environment
  • Module 4: Quality and Inclusivity

One-minute overview of Ten Tips for Transitioning to a Blended Course.

OTA History

The OTA was created in the summer of 2020 to accommodate faculty and teaching assistants who were transitioning to online teaching and wanted to become familiar with tools and techniques for online instruction. Enrollment in the June 2020 session drew nearly 500 faculty and teaching assistants from the University of Illinois campus, while the July 2020 session drew nearly 800 participants. The OTA transitioned to an asynchronous model for August 2020 to support an additional 740 participants. It will continue to operate in this format throughout 2021. You can read more about the origin and development of the OTA here.

For information about the OTA, contact