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University of California, Irvine

Foundations of Virtual Instruction

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


Welcome to Foundations of Virtual Instruction! This course will help you 'up' your game and develop the advanced skills and techniques that elude even some of the most experienced virtual teachers in the K-12 space. Examine pitfalls and learn how to overcome them by focusing on the fundamentals that have the most significant impact on student learning in a blended or online environment. When you complete this course, you will be able to:

• Craft virtual learning experiences that align with your student's needs.
• Set up a learning environment to get to know your students, and they get to know each other.
• Use a variety of online tools to provide feedback and personalize the learning experience.
• Identify at-risk students and employ effective strategies for teaching them.
• Compare and contrast online and face-to-face learning communities.
• Apply strategies to make virtual courses more human.


  • Module 1
    • Welcome to Module 1, The History of Virtual Instruction. In this module, we will explore the history of virtual education and the different models of virtual instruction for K-12 students.
  • Module 2
    • Welcome to Module 2, Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies. This module begins with the definitions of asynchronous learning and synchronous learning and then continues with a look at tools and technologies appropriate for each. These are the two main modes for conducting online courses and as such are among the most important concepts in the world of virtual instruction.
  • Module 3
    • Welcome to Module 3, Transitioning from the Classroom to the Virtual Environment. Thus far, we have examined the roots of virtual instruction and the technology available for use in synchronous and asynchronous online learning. In this module, you will consider transitioning from the traditional classroom to a virtual setting. We will also explore the facilitation of instruction in an online course, the changing field of curriculum development, and the role of outside vendors. While reviewing this information, keep in mind that the purpose is to introduce you to some best practices and methods to consider when teaching online, not to master these practices yet.
  • Module 4
    • Welcome to Module 4, Equity and Access, Funding, and the Law. This module introduces funding, equity and access, and legal considerations that virtual teachers must keep in mind. The content in this module is geared toward what is current and relevant in the United States, however, the information may be useful and applicable internationally as well. As you review content in these three areas, reflect on the virtual teacher’s role in each area and particularly your current or future role as a virtual instructor.
  • Module 5
    • Welcome to Module 5, The Future of Virtual Education. Congratulations, you’ve arrived at the final module in your first course for certification in virtual instruction. We began this course by examining the history of online learning and the roots of virtual instruction. We then looked at different program models, tools of synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning, what it takes to transition from the brick and mortar classroom to the virtual classroom, and issues associated with school funding, equity and access, and other legal considerations. For our final topic, we will consider the future of K-12 virtual instruction and reflect on the material covered previously in this course.

Taught by

Cindy Carbajal


3.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 1456 ratings

Start your review of Foundations of Virtual Instruction

  • I am currently doing this course and to be honest I'm extremely disappointed with the instructor Cindy Carbajal. She's reading all the time and not very well at that (sounds like a first grader). Her videos are haphazard to say the least, informatio…

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