Create an Engaging Online Course on a Shoestring Budget

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

When funds are limited for online course development, faculty may need to find innovate ways to create engaging courses that work within their budgets. In this session, see how tools that are free or costs less than $100 annually can be used to produce interactive, quality courses that get high marks from students.


Diana Willeman-Buckelew, PhD has been in working in academia for over 25 years and has extensive experience developing and teaching online courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has conducted several faculty education sessions that focused on best practices for online teaching. Currently, she serves as the Chair for the Department of Public Health & Healthcare Leadership at Radford University on the Radford University Carilion campus in Roanoke, VA. Email:

Extended Abstract

With the ever-advancing technology for online education, keeping up with the trends and purchasing new tools can be costly.  Because many institutions have limited funds for upgrading technology on an annual basis, faculty need to find innovative ways to continue to offer quality courses that meet the expectations of today's online students.  Luckily, there are several options for free and low-cost tools that can be used to enhance online teaching and learning.

In this session, participants will learn about free and low-cost technology tools that can be used for teaching online courses.  Several free or low-cost tools will be highlighted and shown how they were incorporated to create interactive and engaging online courses that received high marks from the students.  Tools for microlessons, student video projects, team projects, document sharing, appointment setting, and asynchronous and synchronous discussions will be presented. All of the tools shown in this session will either be free or costs less than $100 annually.  Time permitting, the group can discuss additional tips for creating effective online assignments, lessons, and class discussions using free and low-cost tools.

Session Outcomes:

1.  Discover a variety of free and low-cost tools that can be used to create engaging online courses.

2.  Discuss ideas for using technology tools to engage students in online courses.

3.  Examine different methods for creating effective online courses.