West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Fox Center at West Valley College

How To Be Successful

Teaching eLearning courses requires additional skills beyond those needed in teaching F2F courses. It's not enough to know the content; in order to be a successful online instructor, these are some of the other necessary skills:

  • Being formally trained in online-specific pedagogy and relevant technology
  • Willingness to engage continual training and learning
  • Being disciplined and able to organize and manage time well
  • Feeling comfortable communicating in writing or in video conferencing
  • Being willing to compensate for the lack of a physical presence by creating a supportive virtual environment where students feel that the instructor is sensitive, flexible, open, accessible and responsive
  • Believing in and enacting student-centeredness
  • Believing in and infusing critical thinking skills into the learning process
  • Having keen awareness of the differences and needs when communicating online
  • Being interested in online delivery of courses with no extra monetary rewards
  • Understanding that the virtual classroom is different from the F2f classroom
  • Knowing that instruction needs to be converted/re-envisioned--that F2F instructions can't be simply duplicated 
  • Knowing that the major role of an online instructor is to facilitate and guide students in their learning process
  • Understanding that in the virtual classroom the exchange between the instructor and students requires more participation from both
  • Knowing that the degree of interactivity created by the instructor correlates directly with the success in the class  
  • Knowing that the virtual classroom requires being present almost every day
  • Knowing that the instructor's consistent presence needs to be engaging and interactive
  • Creating and communicating specific, clear and reasonable expectations for completing assignments, interactions and conduct
  • Promoting the building of community, collaboration and peer support
  • Providing examples, logical organization, easy navigation, markers of success, self-assessments, timely feedback, and continual re-iteration/reinforcement of course content
  • Encouraging an exploratory attitude that privileges experimentation and problem-solving
  • Applying thorough knowledge about students' learning styles to the design and delivery of the course

last published: 8/15/16 • validate xhtml css 508