Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources


The Educational Development Office (EDO) is responsible for facilitating and supporting teaching and learning excellence and related activities at the University of Texas School of Public Health. This responsibility includes courses delivered by face-to-face instruction as well as courses delivered by electronic means either through ITV or online.

The EDO works with the academic divisions, faculty and regional campuses, and the administrative units to coordinate course and program delivery, student support services, and to provide faculty professional development opportunities. We also work with the academic departments to develop and implement programs for quality teaching and active student learning and engagement.

Core Areas

  • Educational Technology Development and Support Services
  • Educational Improvement and Assessment
  • Faculty Professional Enhancement Opportunities

Services Offered

Through these services EDO supports opportunities for developing and applying different approaches to teaching, using media and information technologies, and experimenting with curricula to create the best possible instructional environment. The EDO is home to a suite of programs and support services dedicated to providing teaching and learning resources to the School of Public Health. Core support service areas of the Educational Development Office include:

  • Educational Design Strategies for both face to face and online instruction
  • Educational Technology Development and Consultation
  • Multimedia Development Training
  • Online Course Construction
  • Canvas LMS Training
  • Faculty Professional Development in Educational Improvement
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Classroom/Educational Practices

Contact Us

Peggy Powell
Manager, Educational Technology
RAS E-245

Manuel Soto
Coordinator, Educational Programs
RAS E-247

Muhammad Hussein
Graduate Assistant
RAS E-235

Rafeek Yusuf
Graduate Assistant
RAS E-235

The Educational Development Office offers course ware tools training, workshops on Web and multimedia topics, custom instruction for the classroom, and links to a variety of training resources.

1. Canvas Trainings

Canvas is the school's Learning Management System (LMS) which allows access to online courses.
Canvas Student Orientation Course:     Watch It!
Canvas Quick Start Guide:     Watch It!

1.1 Working in Canvas

Getting to know Canvas:     Watch It! 

Course layout customization:     Watch It!

Notification preferences:     Watch It! 

Calendar overview:    Watch It! 

Course analytics:       Watch It!  

Settings and Profile Picture:     Watch It!

Account settings:    Watch It! 

People overview:    Watch It! 

Course settings:     Watch It! 

1.2 Building a Course in Canvas

Course import tool:     Watch It! 

Files: Add course content:     Watch It!

Syllabus Overview:     Watch It!

Modules: Creation and management:     Watch It!

Pages: Creation and management:     Watch It!

Announcements overview:     Watch It!

Collaborations overview:     Watch It!

1.3 Gradebook and Communications

Gradebook overview:     Watch It!

Speedgrader:     Watch It!

Communication overview:     Watch It!

Conversations overview:     Watch It!

Chat overview:     Watch It!

Conferences overview:     Watch It!

1.4 Discussions and Groups

Discussions overview:    Watch It!

Discussion creation:      Watch It!

Groups: Creation and management:     Watch It!

1.5 Assignments and Quizzes

Assignment overview:     Watch It!

Assignment creation:      Watch It!

Quiz creation settings:    Watch It!

Quiz creation questions:  Watch It!

Turnitin® Help

Turnitin® Summary  Read

Turnitin® QuickStart guide Watch

Interpreting Turnitin® Originality report  Read

Setting up the Turnitin® Assignment in Canvas®  Read

Turnitin® in Canvas® gradebook  Read

Designing Instruction for ITV

In designing instruction for ITV, the challenge is to think in visual terms. Taking advantage of the visual imagery of ITV can counter an over-reliance on lecturing. Carefully planning ways to show instead of tell may improve the instructional effectiveness of ITV. It may be helpful to visually represent:

  • Outlines or lists
  • Key points
  • Complex material in a step-by-step fashion
  • Relationships
  • Information that needs to be summarized for retention and recall

Make use of:

  • Pictures -- to show what things look like.
  • Diagrams -- to illustrate conceptual relationships, organizations, and structure of content material.
  • Maps -- to show spatial relationships.
  • Graphs, tables, and charts -- to summarize information.

Overheads/Visual Aids

  • Prepare horizontal rather than vertical overheads to fit a TV screen.
  • The aspect ratio of a television screen is four units wide and three units high. This is an important fact to keep in mind when developing presentation visuals for ITV.
  • Overheads should be on pastel colored paper, rather than white or dark colors, to avoid glare and transmit well over the television monitor. These overheads replace any work you usually write on a chalkboard or on overhead transparency film.
  • Use at least 36 but preferably 48 or 72 point font size, on your overheads and avoid fancy lettering like italics.
  • When utilizing the overheads, use no more than 5 words per line and 3 lines per page.
  • Any more information does not transmit well.
  • Keep visual aids simple and direct. Communicate a single idea.
  • Make sure that visual aids are relevant to the point under discussion.
  • Choose simple, san serif fonts (Arial, Geneva), and no fancy fonts. ""-
  • Don't use all uppercase; it's harder to read
  • Highlight no more than ten percent of the words with color, underline or other features.
  • Avoid handwritten overheads whenever possible.
  • Allow plenty of "white space" on all visuals to keep them uncluttered.
  • Use photographs when possible.
  • Using data charts
    • Keep it simple. Don't try to communicate all data in a single chart.
    • Use horizontal rather than vertical labels
    • Keep decorations to a minimum and choose simple color designs
    • Keys and legends should in larger fonts for legibility
    • When presenting a series of graphs or charts, maintain consistent units of measure
    • Use multiples of two, five, or ten as units of measure on axes
    • Use duller colors for axes, grids and other background elements to foreground the data.

Tips for Using PowerPoint

  • Design in the horizontal format.
  • Use no font smaller than 36 points
  • Use a dark background, with light colored text
  • Do not use extremely decorative and loud background patterns
  • Do not use red as a background color; nor should you use a lot of red on your slides. Red tends to bleed, making your slides difficult to read.
  • Keep a 1/2 inch border around the edges of your slides; often times the outer edge of your slides are cut off.
  • Sans serif fonts, such as Arial, are best for your slides. They are much easier to read, and if you intend to videotape your session, this is the recommended font style.
  • PowerPoint is set to use Times, which is a serif font, as the default, so be sure to change the font to Arial.
  • Use no more than three styles of text: one for the title, one for the body, one for emphasis.
  • Limit each slide to 6 lines of text with 6 words or less per line. Using more slides to prove you point will make it easier for students to see and comprehend.

Suggested Clothing/Appearance

  • Avoid clothing with small patterns and stripes such as polka dots or pinstripes that may visually distract students. Small patterns such as tweeds tend to "crawl" on screen.
  • Choose solids and muted prints.
  • Do not wear jewelry that may cause reflections or glare on camera.
  • Avoid all white or all dark colors. Medium colors like blues or greens transmit best on the monitors.
  • Avoid very light pastels.
  • Avoid reds.
  • Avoid strong black/white contrasts.

Promote Interaction with Students

  • Dedicate time during the first several class meetings for all students to be in front of the instructor's camera (student introductions, ice-breaking exercises, etc.) This is essential to learning students' names, recognizing faces and letting students at all sites get to know each other.
  • During the first class meeting, discuss with students the procedures for dealing with audio, video, and/or other technical difficulties.
  • During the first class meeting, describe the way you wish distance students to interrupt to ask questions or participate in discussions. Students may need to be encouraged to interrupt aurally rather than raising their hand.
  • To improve the image you present to your off-site students, look into the camera instead of at the monitors.
  • Call on students by name instead of by site, i.e. "Mary, how did you answer number 12", instead of "El Paso, what did you get for #12."
  • Visit and present class from each off-site location at least once during the semester. To increase rapport with off-site students, make these visits early in the semester.
  • Incorporate a variety of activities like small group work, demonstrations, discussions, and role plays to facilitate participation and active learning. This variety also allows you to get to know individual students and accommodates different learning styles.
  • Planning a block of time for interaction and then letting students know in advance that interaction is anticipated. Initiating an interaction within the first twenty minutes will get students motivated to participate in learning rather than lulling them into just watching.
  • Designating students at distant sites to lead discussions or survey the room for questions.
  • Clearly defining discussion topics or questions and then allowing time for students to prepare responses. Assigning discussion questions in advance of the television session will help students prepare for the interaction. Have the questions appear in writing on the screen so students see and hear the questions.
  • Vary facial expressions, tone of voice, body movements, and eye contact with the camera to enhance verbal communication.
  • Engage students by using humor, asking questions, involving students, and praising student contributions.
  • Maintain energy and dynamism to attract and hold the distant learners' attention.
  • Remember, enthusiasm is contagious. So is boredom.
  • Present content in five to ten minute blocks interspersed with discussion. Alternate between instruction and interaction.
  • Keep lecture sessions simple and clear. To help focus viewing, indicate key points to look for.
  • Do not read material.
  • Maintain a moderate speaking pace.
  • Do not digress -- keep students on track.
  • Vary the center of focus for activities from the on-camera presenter to a receive site group or individual.
  • Incorporate timely breaks as a respite from the television monitor.
  • Post handouts, study guides, and/or PowerPoint in Canvas prior to the class so that students will be better able to follow the lecture.

Basics Tips for Students in ITV Courses

  • Keep noise to a minimum. Whispering, shuffling papers, eating, etc. can be heard over the microphones and is distracting to the class.
  • Speak clearly toward the nearest microphone when you have a comment or question. Care needs to be taken with the microphones in the classroom. Avoid laying books and papers on top of those on the desk.
  • When speaking, identify yourself and your location for the instructor and for your classmates at the other sites.
  • Do not interrupt each other. Only one person can speak and be understood at any given time. If two people speak at once, their voices drown each other out over the audio system.