Effective Online Tutoring (online)


The Effective Online Tutoring course provides a comprehensive introduction to teaching online – in this eight-week tutored online course you will learn how to use a range of tools and strategies to effectively manage, moderate, and support adult learners to study online.

This course is for teachers and academics looking to develop their skills for teaching online courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The course is also suitable for individuals looking to deliver online training, and organisations involved in Continuing Professional Development who wish to improve the effectiveness of their online and distance learning courses.

Some previous experience of teaching and supporting learning would be beneficial, but is not essential.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding the needs and specificities of online learners
  • Exploring the multiple roles of the online tutor
  • Managing effective communication synchronously and asynchronously
  • Pedagogical approaches and tools to engage your learners
  • Fostering an inclusive community of learners
  • Practical tips to deal with challenges
  • Your own ongoing professional development

Focused specifically on teaching, rather than on designing or developing online courses, this course will introduce you to the role of the online tutor through selected case studies, reading, group discussions, and other activities.

The programme is tutor-led, providing you with expert advice, support and guidance.

The course is practical, focussing on your own context and drawing upon the Department for Continuing Education’s experience of delivering high quality online learning.

Learning by doing is a key concept of this course. You will:

  • have lots of opportunities to try out new skills and techniques and share your experience with other professionals from a range of contexts;
  • give and receive feedback on work, with an emphasis on collaboration and learning together online;
  • work on your own online course, planning your interventions and considering key issues such as appropriate support for online students.

The study time of the course is 35-56 hours to study the core content (approximately 5-8 hours per week) plus any additional time for completing assignments and further reading. You will work at your own pace on asynchronous activities on a weekly basis, and meet as a cohort in synchronous live sessions every other week.

Is this course right for you? Watch the video for more information.

Programme details

​The course consists of eight units taught over a period of eight weeks.

Unit 1: Introduction to learning online

Unit 2: Preparing for online tutoring

Unit 3: Managing communication (part 1): asynchronously

Unit 4: Managing communication (part 2): synchronously

Unit 5: Online learning in context

Unit 6: Engaging and motivating learners online: building a community

Unit 7: Troubleshooting tips

Unit 8: Evaluating and growing your practice

The course remains open and the materials are available to you for four additional weeks after the end of the taught units.

Course delivery and numbers

This course is delivered entirely online and no on-campus attendance at the University of Oxford is required.

The only synchronous elements are one-hour long webinar tutorials every other week, led by the tutor. They will be recorded for those who are not able to attend.

There is usually a maximum of 18 participants on this course.

IT Support

At the start of the course you will receive joining instructions including your login details to Microsoft Teams and the Moodle learning platform, where you will access all the course materials, discussion forums and activities, webinars and be able to contact your tutor.

An IT helpdesk is available online through the TALL (Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning) unit at the University of Oxford.


Participants who satisfy the course requirements will receive an electronic certificate of completion.

This will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.

In order to complete this course, you will need to:

  • actively take part in the group activities throughout the course, and make at least one substantive contribution in each unit;
  • complete the two tutor-marked assignments;
  • participate in a minimum of two of the online tutorials delivered during the course.

A record of this information will be retained by the University of Oxford, should further confirmation of your completion of this course be required (for example, by your employer, or a prospective employer).


Description Costs
Standard course fee £935.00


All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required


Shaun Wilden

Shaun is an education technologist who teaches and trains both face-to-face and online courses.

In the Department for Continuing Education he teaches digital literacy as well as short courses in mobile learning and teaching online. His latest book, Mobile Learning, was published by Oxford University Press.

He is the academic director for online courses for the International House World Organisation overseeing their suite of asynchronous teacher development courses and is a consultant to a number of educational organisations to assist them in their synchronous and asynchronous course provision.

His current area of interest and research is learner expectations in peer-to-peer social presence within asynchronous courses.

Course aims

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • identify and apply a variety of skills and behaviours necessary to be an effective online tutor
  • facilitate a range of online activities
  • provide constructive online feedback to students
  • plan and host an effective online session using a web conferencing tool
  • evaluate and select appropriate digital tools to support learning and teaching
  • encourage peer interaction and the building of an online community
  • manage challenging situations that can arise in the online teaching environment
  • evaluate your tutoring style and know how to further develop and improve your skills.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form for an invoice.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online.

To participate, you will need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended Minimum computer specification.

The webinars will take place via Microsoft Teams and in order to join, you will need a computer with speaker, a microphone and a camera (optional). Standard laptop camera, microphone and speakers should be adequate. Headphones, with a built-in microphone, are recommended.