online ed logo computer and mobile phoneBest Practices in Online Teaching

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

First Week Guide

Read our First Week Resources for Online Instruction for tips on beginning your online class successfully.

Spring 2021 Best Practices Checklist

checkmarkReview our DVC Online Semester Guide: Instructor Recommendations and Best Practices for a checklist of equitable practices in online instruction.

Regular and effective contact

computer with three profile shadowsFederal 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.

For additional ideas, check out our division-specific sample online learning activities or join department discussions about regular and effective contact in our DVC@4CD Distance Ed Community.

FERPA (student privacy)

bullseyeOnline 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:

Camera-optional recommendation

The Distance Education Committee encourages instructors have camera-optional policies to promote equitable experiences and respect student concerns around privacy, safety, disability, and religious strictures.  Please review details and suggestions for encouraging participation without requiring cameras in our Camera-optional Recommendation for general Zoom sessions and Online Proctoring Recommendation for proctored exams.

Using Zoom

zoom video iconZoom is a Canvas-integrated video conferencing tool useful for interacting with students virtually.  Please review the Distance Education Committee's Camera-optional Recommendation and check out the DE Team's presentation Best Practices for using Zoom.

Online Proctoring Recommendation

View the DE Committee's Online Proctoring Recommendation (COVID-19), endorsed by the Academic Senate.

Academic Integrity

checkmarkAll 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. 

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

Peer Online Mentorship Canvas Course CardIn Sring 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 Peer Online Mentorship Program (POMP) or email Anne Kingsley at 


email symbol in envelopeReview our 4CD Equity Rubric (coming soon) to learn about important strategies for creating equitable and inclusive online classes.  Or join one of the five Fall 2020 Pedagogy Inquiry Teams by emailing Ian Thomas-Bignami at