Introduction to Distance Education


This is a closed course for Des Moines University faculty. Registrations are not being accepted. 

Course Description

This brief course examines the fundamentals of teaching and learning in distance learning environments. Faculty members are expected to teach courses that utilize regular and substantive interaction. Teaching in a distance learning environment requires thoughtful planning regarding instructional methods, technologies, student engagement, and course management. Completing this course provides faculty with the foundational knowledge needed to address each item effectively. 

Course Goals

  • Recall the Higher Learning Commission requirements for distance education.
  • Recall recommended distance education terms and practices.
  • Identify best practices in regular and substantive education.


  • Definition of distance education
  • Regular and substantive interaction
  • Practical application
  • Shifting online
  • Definition of synchronous learning
  • Definition of asynchronous learning
  • Needs of learners in synchronous versus asynchronous learning environments
  • Comparison of synchronous vs. asynchronous Learning
  • Definition of blended learning
  • Reflection
  • Definition of community of inquiry framework
  • Designing content for engagement
  • Identify interaction types
  • Ways to improve student engagement at the moment
  • Instructor presence
  • Definition of feedback
  • Recall feedback best practices
  • Recall best practices of discussions


Sarah Davis, MA
Instructional Design and Educational Support Specialist, Center for Educational Enhancement: Academic Support, DMU


  • Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., Wade, C. A., Tamim, R. M., Surkes, M. A., & Bethel, E. C. (2009). A meta-analysis of three types of interaction treatments in distance education. Review of Educational Research,79(3), 1243–1289.
  • Boettcher, J. V., Conrad, R.-M., & McQuesten, P. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: simple and practical pedagogical tips (Second). Jossey-Bass.
  • Foley McCabe, M., & González-Flores Patricia. (2016). Essentials of online teaching: a standards-based guide (Ser. Essentials of online learning). Taylor and Francis. 
  • Vai, M., & Sosulski, K. (2016). Essentials of online course design: a standards-based guide (Second, Ser. Essentials of online learning series). Routledge.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 1.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 1.00 CPME
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Accreditation Statements

  • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this enduring materials activity for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AOA Category 2-B credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
  • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 1.0 continuing education contact hours.
  • Other healthcare providers: This live activity is designated for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Educational Grants

No ineligible company provided financial support for this continuing education activity. 


The speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals, medical procedures, and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. 

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individual(s) have no conflict(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.

  • Sarah Davis, MA - Instructor


The information provided at this activity is for continuing education purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 1.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 1.00 CPME


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This is a closed course for Des Moines University faculty. Registrations are not being accepted.