Best Practices in Online Teachingspotlight

Learn more about important best practices in online course design and delivery.

Regular and effective contact

Federal and state law requires distance education courses include regular and effective contact - both between the instructor and students and among students.   Please read DVC Procedure 4003.02, which defines our college policies around instructor-initiated contact and student-to-student interaction.

FERPA (student privacy)

Online instructors need to be aware of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) concerns in online courses, particularly around combined sections and Zoom.  Get familiar with FERPA in the DVC FERPA Quick Guide or FERPA Basics video:

Using Zoom

ConferZoom is a Canvas-integrated video conferencing tool useful for interacting with students virtually.  Make sure you're up-to-date with Best Practices for using Zoom.

Academic Integrity

All online classes offered within the California Community Colleges have a common entry point through the learning management system Canvas.  Even faculty who supplement their instruction through third-party resources must have students authenticate through Canvas.  To learn more about tools to help ensure academic integrity, like plagiarism detection software and secure online exam proctoring, visit Canvas Workshops and/or Online Teaching Tools.

OER (Open Educational Resources)

With the cost of college and student debt rising, utilizing high-quality, free teaching tools is a great way to support your students.  Learn more about how to find free textbooks and the OER movement through DVC's LibGuide.

ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) Badging

 ZTC logo, textbook with a crossed out dollar signIf you leverage open educational resources over paid publisher content, make sure students know by getting your course badged with the ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) symbol in the online searchable schedule.  ZTC means there are no textbook or digital material costs for students. (However, other costs for physical materials such as a calculator, lab, or art supplies may be required.)  To get your class badged, follow the instructions in Get Your ZTC Badge

CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric

In Spring 2019, DVC's Academic Senate approved the use of the CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric as a guide for our local best practices in online teaching.  Would you like to participate in a peer mentorship program to align your online course to the rubric?  Watch for news about participating in DVC's new Peer Online Mentorship Program (POMP)


Review our 4CD Equity Rubric (coming soon) to learn about important strategies for creating equitable and inclusive online classes.