online ed logo with computer, phone, and DVC logoOnline Teaching Materials

Distance education is a growing field helping to meet the needs of our diverse students.  Online courses allow us to welcome more students whose work or family schedules are obstacles to taking face-to-face classes, or whose learning styles thrive in the digital environment.

Getting started

DVC offers instructors the following support materials to help prepare for online teaching:

Online Training

BEOI Canvas shell screenshot

Under our UF contract, instructors who teach online will need to take our district's Becoming an Effective Online Instructor course or submit evidence of an equivalent training.  Learn more about our professional development pathways to online teaching. 

First Week Guide

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

Welcome Letter 

Online instructors typically email their students the week before classes begin to help students understand how to get started in their online course.  

Online Syllabus 

There are additional points to consider adding into your syllabus when teaching online, such as letting students know about any special requirements for technology and/or software.  

Understand synchronous vs. asynchronous online instruction

Online classes may be offered with synchronous or asynchronous elements.  Learn more about the pros and cons of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

Technology needs
  • It can be helpful to have the latest internet browser.  Chrome works well with Canvas and many instructional tech tools.  (In fact, some, like Proctorio, require a Chrome extension.)  You - and students! - can download the latest versions of popular browsers for free:
  • Most online instructors will want a desktop or laptop with a webcam for hosting online office hours.  You'll want to keep up-to-date with the latest version of Zoom if you host synchronous online class sessions or office hours.
  • Consider what technology your students will need to complete your online class - and communicate those needs with students.  You may wish to guide students without adequate technology to DVC's Student Technology Loan Requests.
  • You may wish to brush up on your basic tech skills:
Online office hours

Consider offering office hour(s) online via Zoom to most closely replicate a face-to-face office hour.  Video conference with students, share your screen, or have students share their screen. 

  • Include your office hour(s) day(s), time(s), and virtual location in easy-to-find places, like your Syllabus and Home Page on Canvas.  
  • Include instructions for how students will access your office hours. Sharable link:
  • Schedule your Zoom office hours with a waiting room.  There may be times you want only one student at a time for quick one-on-one chats, and other times you want to meet with a group of students to review key concepts.  The waiting room allows you to control who enters your office space when.
  • Check out DVC's Instructors Guide to Zoom for technical tips.

Designing your course

DVC provides additional materials to help instructors design online courses: