Distance Learning Toolbox

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The Distance Learning Toolbox is a collection of best practices, guides, online tools, and other resources specifically designed to support Rider faculty and staff engaged in distance learning.

Course Design Online Pedagogy Activities & Engagement Technology Tools Quality Assurance – Peer/Self Review
UDL (Universal Design for Learning) Accessibility Academic Integrity & Plagiarism Journals, Blogs, Sites Recommended Reading

Course Design

Course Design Models

Creating Syllabi & Learning Objectives

Online Pedagogy

First in the list below is the Rider University College of Continuing Studies Faculty Guidelines for Online Teaching. This instructor's manual, written by Marie Cini and Boris Vilic is "filled with real examples of how to plan for the online experience and then how to actually 'behave' as an instructor online" (4). The next documents are a collection of "Best Practices" and "Tips" created by Dr. Judith Boettcher that she has customized for Rider faculty in consultation with Dean Boris Vilic and Drs. Kathy Browne and Tim McGee, formerly of the Teaching and Learning Center.

Best Practices

Assessment and Feedback

Activities & Engagement

Technology Tools

Tech Tools @ Rider

  • Canvas - Learning Management System is Rider’s campus supported web-based teaching and learning tool. Canvas enables professors to provide students access to course materials, communication tools, online assessments, and grades, as well as the ability to submit assignments electronically.
  • Google Apps for Education - Google Apps for Education is a free, efficient, convenient and collaborative suite of web based or cloud applications that work together seamlessly. Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar and other Google Apps for Education tools are available to all students, faculty, staff and emerti.
  • NJVID - NJVID is a state-of-the-art digital media repository service for streaming and preservation of academic and research media for higher education. Integrated with Rider’s Canvas LMS, this service allows both faculty and students to upload media to the repository for sharing.
  • TurnitinTurnitin is a cloud based service that helps instructors detect and prevent plagiarism, grade online, provide feedback and improve student learning.  Integrated with Rider’s Canvas LMS.
  • EvauluationKIT – EvaluationKIT is Rider’s online course evaluation system that is used to administer course evaluations in online & hybrid classes. The system integrates directly into Canvas, allows for custom questions, and guarantees student anonymity.

Other Resources

Quality Assurance – Peer/Self Review

Rubrics & Checklists

Articles & Other Resources

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to course and syllabus design based on principles that enable faculty to design and teach their courses in ways that make learning accessible to all learners.


Creating online content and materials that are accessible ensures a quality learning experience for all learners – including those with a disability. Below are some resources to help you get started.

Articles & Other Resources

Checklists and Guides

  • Creating Accessible Content: A resource from University of Central Florida for faculty teaching online/blended courses and dealing with ADA and 508 compliance.
  • WebAIM Section 508 Checklist: A checklist by WebAim to determine if your online materials and courses are compliant.

Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

  • Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices (The Council of Writing Program Administrators). Defines plagiarism; suggests causes; proposes shared responsibilities for students, faculty and administrators; and recommends specific practices to reduce plagiarism.
  • The Citation Project This site provides systematic data, discussion, and resources to help instructors and administrators with developing plagiarism policies and with developing effective instruction methods for the ethical use of sources.
  • – Free source of information on plagiarism and best practices for ensuring originality in written work
  • VAIL (Virtual Academic Integrity Laboratory ) - VAIL includes guides, tutorials, bibliographic information, and survey research on academic integrity issues in higher education.
  • Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers,” 2004, Robert Harris. Discusses why and how students plagiarize; presents specific strategies for prevention and detection, including links to sites that provide term papers and sites that detect plagiarism.
  • Curbing Academic Dishonesty in Online Courses,” Mike McNett, May/June 2002 (Illinois Online Network, University of Illinois). Methods for assessing students and detecting plagiarism in online courses. Includes links to articles and sites on academic dishonesty.
  • McNabb, L., & Olmstead, A. (2009). Communities of integrity in online courses: Faculty member beliefs and strategies. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(2). Retrieved from

Journals, Blogs, Newsletters

Recommended Reading

This next collection of links leads to readings that have been recommended for various reasons. In each case, the link leads either to an external site where the file is hosted or to a downloadable .pdf. The brief annotations are intended to give you some notion of the content of each reading.

Have a resource you’d like to share?  We are constantly striving to improve the Distance Learning Toolbox.  If you have a recommended resource that is not listed above or if you have any questions about these documents or Rider's other resources to support distance learning please contact Kweli Snowden at 609-895-5671 or [email protected].