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DIVE: Designing for Virtual Engagement

At the request of faculty and program directors, the Baylor Learning Design Team created DIVE (Designing Instruction for Virtual Engagement), a six week program for fa­­­­culty interested in learning the theory and practice of designing and teaching high quality online and hybrid courses.

To further support faculty in their teaching endeavors, we also offer the DEEP DIVE program. While both programs aim to enhance online and hybrid teaching, they serve different purposes and address different aspects of course design and instruction.

What are the differences between the DIVE and DEEP DIVE programs?

DIVE concentrates on the science of designing online courses, offering participants practical strategies and techniques for creating and teaching effective online courses. It encompasses systematic practices for designing courses that engage and educate students. 

  • Are you interested in ‘the how’ of teaching and learning? DIVE offers hands-on experiences for designing and building a course. 

DEEP DIVE delves into the fundamental principles that underpin course design and teaching across different modalities. It goes beyond the 'how' and explores the 'why.' This program empowers educators to make more informed decisions and create courses that prioritize a student-centered approach. 

  • Are you interested in ‘the why’ of teaching and learning? DEEP DIVE explores your teaching strengths based on theoretical foundations.

DIVE and DEEP DIVE are not sequential courses, you may complete the courses based on your schedule and in your preferred order.  

Testimonials from DIVE participants:

“It will change the way you think about online course design.”

“DIVE is a hands-on course that teaches you how to utilize learning design tools.”

"This course was nice in that it showed that many of the difficulties that I face in online instruction are faced by other instructors across disciplines. It has shown me that there is a community at Baylor that I can reach out to for support and guidance."

"If you have not set up an online course, take DIVE - you will get a lot of resources to help you get started and save yourself time from re-doing things later. If you have already been teaching an online course, take DIVE - you will be challenged with ways you can make it better. Additionally, you will meet some great, like-minded professors who will also spur new ideas for your class." 

Registration for Fall 2024 is open!

Facilitating the upcoming certification are:

Total Time

  • 30-35 hours over six weeks (about 5 hours per week).

Steps to Completion

  1. Apply to the program – priority acceptance will be granted to fifteen full-time faculty members, with any remaining spots available for part-time faculty.
  2. Complete the required readings, videos, and assessments in the six modules.
  3. Complete six-week-long modules that include a 1-hour online synchronous discussion. The synchronous session attendance is required to be considered for acceptance into the program. These meetings will be held via Zoom on Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Fall 2024.
Synch Sessions Fall 2024
Session 1: Building an Online Community              September 19, 4-5 pm CST
Session 2: Mapping your Online Course September 26, 4-5 pm CST
Session 3: Organizing Your Course October 3, 4-5 pm CST
Session 4: Authentic Assessments October 17, 4-5 pm CST
Session 5: Crafting Discussion Prompts October 24, 4-5 pm CST
Session 6: Facilitating Your Course October 31, 4-5 pm CST


Who can participate?

The DIVE program is designed especially for full-time faculty, but part-time faculty may participate on a “stand-by” basis.  To ensure a quality experience for all we are limiting each cohort to 15 faculty members. Upon completion, participants will earn a Baylor DIVE Digital Badge of Completion through Credly.

How can I register?
If you have questions, please email the Learning Design team at  Otherwise, click the button below to register.

Register Here

If you are interested in DIVE, but unable to attend due to the date and time of the sessions, please email us at and we can add you to the waitlist for the next DIVE offering.

When can I access the DIVE course in Canvas?

The DIVE course becomes available on the first day of class. The Fall cohort starts on September 9th, 2024. The course can be open and accessible prior to its scheduled start date. Participants will be notified via email when the course is accessible.

Can I withdraw from DIVE?

We will accept withdrawals from DIVE up until the first day of classes for the semester DIVE is offered. Due to the limited spots for the DIVE Certificate, we encourage you to complete the program once it starts. If you choose to withdraw after the start of the program, wait-listed faculty members will be disadvantaged and miss out on the DIVE offering.

Module Descriptions

Module 1: Building Online Community and Connecting with Your Students

Connectedness is critically important to student success in online courses. Our online students articulate through annual success surveys how important engagement is to their success. Online engagement manifests itself through four key interactions: instructor to student, student to student, student to content and student to technology. We will explore strategies for building a learning community that promotes connectedness through these four key interactions. As part of this effort, we will create introductory videos that will help establish a culture of engagement and connection in the online classroom.

Module 2: Mapping your Online Course

Your vision is in place. Now it is time to start organizing your course with a course map. This session will explore the benefits of course maps and how they are the foundation of designing a course. They help us ensure that learning builds and scaffolds throughout the course. As we begin constructing our courses, it is important to understand how to calculate total learning time for your course. Faculty new to online course development often overload or underload their courses causing frustrations for students. We will conclude this session by sharing strategies for “Being Baylor” in your online courses.

Module 3: Organizing Your Course

Well organized courses can reduce student stress. It’s our goal to reduce the administrative and cognitive load for students, which allows our students to better focus on learning the content at hand. We will explore strategies for organizing your course that builds upon the work you completed in Modules 1–2. We will discuss the importance of using a consistent course structure, naming conventions and flow that focuses students on mastering the course content.

Module 4: Online Learning Activities - Authentic Assessments

Every course is unique and can be built using a wide variety of learning activities and techniques. However, there are some basic components that are often found in many online courses; this session will introduce you to some of the more common ones. We will look at ways to assess learning that go beyond traditional tests—what is often called "authentic assessment." We will provide a rationale for using authentic assessment and suggest several ideas. 

Module 5: Crafting Discussion Prompts

Continuing Week 4's topics about a wide variety of learning activities and techniques. We will delve into a widely employed approach in many online courses. Our focus will be on discussion boards—specifically, guiding you on selecting compelling topics, effective management of discussions, and fostering active student engagement. You will have the opportunity to develop online discussion prompts and revise them based on the feedback you receive from the course facilitators.

Module 6: Facilitating Your Course

Your course has been carefully designed and now it is time to deliver!  This module will prepare you for the day-to-day delivery of the course, whether it is completely asynchronous or includes live synchronous sessions. A well-designed course must be executed in a way that learners feel connected to the instructor, to one another, and to the subject. Participants will learn how three elements: Connection, Content, and Continuation may be woven through the delivery process. After reviewing the materials on facilitation, you will have a chance to practice by creating a production sheet for a live session to follow one of the modules you designed.

Additional opportunities associated with designing and teaching online courses include:

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