Online Learning at William & Mary

What is online learning at William & Mary?

From APeL's perspective, learning is learning. Whether our students are in a physical classroom or an online class, the Office of University eLearning Initiatives (APeL) implements good pedagogical practices and instructional design concepts to help faculty develop innovative courses that allow for deep and engaging online learning. We strive to create powerful experiences to the standard of excellence and professionalism that embody William & Mary. Our instructional design team has the expertise and resources to help faculty members and students succeed in online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses. 

Learn more about William & Mary online
For students: 

Online learning provides quality education in a flexible format, but it is not for everyone. See if you agree with the following statements to get an idea if online learning is a good fit. 

  • Communication
    • I work well in groups and contribute my fair share to group work.
    • I am comfortable responding to other people’s ideas online.
    • I enjoy corresponding with people online.
    • I am comfortable expressing my thoughts in writing.
    • I can provide feedback to others in writing in a respectful manner.
  • Learning
    • I understand that online learning requires an equal amount of course work as a face-to-face class.
    • I am good at completing tasks independently.
    • I believe I am responsible for my education and realize that learning is my responsibility.
    • If I have a question or issue, I realize the professor is there to help and I am comfortable contacting someone about my question.
  • Time/Schedule
    • I need a flexible course schedule.
    • I can organize my time to meet course requirements.
  • Technology
    • I own or have access to a computer (e.g., desktop, laptop, or tablet computer) on a daily basis.
    • I can use the Internet on a daily basis.
    • I know how to use a web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari).
    • I am comfortable with computers, email, and Internet technology.
  • Tips for success
    • Actively communicate with your professor.
    • Set aside time and space to complete your work.
    • Consider your tone when writing online.
    • Actively participate in online course activities.
    • Have a backup plan for technology and vital course materials.

For faculty members: 

Online teaching provides faculty an opportunity to offer students the same high-quality W&M learning experience - just through a different medium. Below are some points to consider when you're thinking about teaching online.

  • Meeting diverse student learning needs. W&M faculty who teach online care about offering their students quality education and see online learning as another means of reaching students with their teaching. Being in a classroom is not always feasible, or even the best choice, for many students, and our online courses seek to address this student need. Studies at W&M suggest that a high proportion of our students would like to see more online offerings.
  • Working with the W&M Instructional Design team. Our design team can guide you through a focused process that helps you learn about online teaching and equips you to design and deliver an effective online course. Our team can guide you through course preparation, as well as support you during the semester.
  • Transfer of skills to your face-to-face courses. W&M faculty who teach online report an increase in pedagogical knowledge, and that knowledge extends into their face-to-face courses. Techniques and concepts that work online usually work face-to-face, so the things you learn about online teaching can really give you a leg up in your teaching generally.