Three tips for creating an online course for nontraditional student populations

M. Rebecca Forman, John A. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In spring 2020, the University of Minnesota Erosion and Stormwater Management Certification Program temporarily ceased in-person workshops due to the spread of COVID-19. Twenty workshops were canceled, and the 1,233 attendees (all adult learners) were moved into asynchronous online course sections. These online workshops were the first remote courses that many of the attendees had ever attempted. Here, we provide tips for successfully creating online classes for nontraditional student populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16368-16373
Number of pages6
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Erosion Program instructors and attendees who have contributed to the in‐person courses throughout the years. Our ability to rapidly shift courses to an online format was greatly facilitated by having high‐quality PowerPoint presentations prepared by the instructors. We thank Deena Wassenberg and Sehoya Cotner for their reviews of an earlier version of this manuscript, and we especially thank Mary Dieltz, the Erosion Program administrative assistant, for the many hours of logistical work she performed to move hundreds of students from in‐person to online classes. This work was supported by the Erosion and Stormwater Management Certification Program course fees.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • adult education
  • distance learning
  • non-traditional students
  • remote instruction

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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