Author: lp85

Online Course Development at FAS

The FAS Office of Educational Technology is pleased to offer support to faculty teaching online in accordance with relevant school policies and procedures and in collaboration with their departments and programs. Our staff can help you navigate the online course development process and connect you with resources at NYU. Here’s a short overview of what that process will look like.

Crafting an online course requires both pedagogical and technical expertise that is different from the skills needed to teach face to face. An Educational Technologist can help you consider every aspect of the online course development process, from planning through implementation and assessment.

Our office uses the Backwards Design method, first identifying student learning outcomes then aligning course content accordingly. In an early meeting, we’ll map your curricular goals, teaching style, assessment methods, and overall vision for your online course. We’ll select innovative approaches and technological integrations to bring your course to life online.

When possible, we like to have faculty planning to teach online try out these new approaches in their face to face courses through strategies such as incorporating flipped classroom elements. Working with an Educational Technologist to pilot new course materials in a residential course allows you to become fully acquainted with new technologies and gather valuable feedback from students.

After applying a flipped classroom approach for a face to face class, we will work with you and any necessary technical team members to build a full prototype of the online course in a Learning Management System (LMS). This process will include creating all learning materials, video, audio, text, graphics, and any technical integrations. Our office will help ensure your materials meet accessibility standards and provide you with all necessary training for the online tools and platforms you’ll be using.

During the development process, you’ll learn best practices for managing an online course and for changing your teaching strategies to be more effective in this environment. We’ll also consult with Learning Analytics experts to optimize the course to give you detailed information on your students’ engagement and progress. The successful online classroom is a source of deep learning and rich community, and we’re excited to help you build a great online course.

Contact our office to learn more about developing online courses. Use our Liaison Finder to connect with your school’s Educational Technologist.

NYU Classes – Lessons Tool

  • Cost: Free 
  • Time commitment: Longer engagement
  • Tech experience: Intermediate

The Lessons tool allows for the creation and aggregation of learning materials. Course content can be organized sequentially, allowing students to move through lectures, assignments, resources, and forums in one place. Lesson components can be set with prerequisites or requirements that modulate students’ progress through material.

The Lessons tool can be accessed in your NYU Classes course sites. Learn more about the Lessons tool.


  • Cost: Paid / Currently available as an NYU Pilot
  • Time commitment: Quick fix
  • Tech experience: Beginner

Voicethread is a web-based presentation and discussion tool. Many media types can be imported and easily arranged via drag-and-drop interactions. The tool allows for text, image, audio, and video commentary on presentation content. Multimedia comments can be made by both the creator of the presentation and by viewers.

Voicethread is currently in Pilot at NYU. Visit the Enhancements Roadmap to learn more. 

WordPress (NYU Web Publishing)

  • Cost: Free
  • Time commitment: Longer engagement
  • Tech experience: Beginner to intermediate 

WordPress offers flexible templates and is optimal for sites with multiple contributors who want to leverage the blogging functionality. WordPress is available as part of the NYU Web publishing service (training offered). The tool has a high learning curve for set up and maintenance, but allows for customization with for rich library of plugins and themes.

Visit NYU Web Publishing to learn more.

Google Docs

  • Cost: Free
  • Time commitment: Quick fix
  • Tech experience: Beginner

Google Docs is part of the Google Drive suite of applications.  For a basic introduction to Google Docs, as well as information on Google Sheets, Slides, Forms, and more, please check out the documentation. This tutorial will offer an in-depth explanation of sharing and permissions settings in Google Docs, as well as an explanation and use cases for tracking changes within the program.

Google apps allow for simultaneous creation/editing of multimedia documents, as well as commenting. Google Docs allows for suggested edits, which are similar to tracked changes in Word.

Google Docs are available as part of NYU’s Google Apps for Education. 


  • Cost: Paid
  • Time commitment: Longer engagement
  • Tech experience: Intermediate

Top Hat is a classroom and student response system for mobile devices. The tool can integrate polls and quick knowledge checks into lecture content. 

Visit TopHat to learn more.