Getting Started


While students will continue to take courses in a traditional face-to-face classroom, online education has become popular with students who need an instructional alternative that better accommodates their work schedules and personal commitments.

An online class can be delivered fully online with no class meetings or in a hybrid format that has some online components and some face-to-face meetings. This page has been developed to assist faculty in determining what is needed to offer a class online and help take those first steps in doing so.

Visit the Distance Ed Help for Faculty page to find links to Distance Education’s tips include training and planning, components of an online class, building the class, and activating the class. See the SRJC Moodle Information page for specific information about Moodle and the Getting Started with CATE page for specific information about CATE.

Be sure to check other sections of this Web site. Many of the links will lead to additional resources that will help you expand your knowledge and skills in online teaching and learning.

Instructor Training and Requirements

Most departments require instructors to complete a training process, involving the course management system they plan to teach with, before they are approved to teach online. Once training is completed, the instructor should receive a certificate of Online Special Expertise.

The current training schedule for SRJC's course management systems can be found here:

CATE training page
Moodle training page

Approval Process

First, if the course you want to teach has never been taught online, you will need to begin by discussing your plans with your department chair. Check with your department chair to determine how your department makes decisions and recommendations for curriculum changes.

Second, a proposal must be submitted to the Curriculum Committee to receive approval for offering your course online. Even if the course has been taught successfully face-to-face for many years, it still needs to go through the formal curriculum approval process to make sure that the course outline of record is current and required components of an online class are met. You can check the Quick Curriculum Guide for the necessary forms and information on the Curriculum Committee procedures. You should also note the deadlines for submitting curriculum proposals and plan accordingly so that the curriculum approval process is completed well before the schedule planning is due for the semester in which you want to teach the class.

Curriculum Committee Web site
DE Course proposal (Word doc)
Steps to DE course approval (Word doc)
DE course proposal guidelines (Word doc)

Course Design Guidelines

Students who take online classes are to achieve the same student learning outcomes (skills and knowledge) as they would if they took the courses face to face. Consequently, as you design your class stay focused on the objectives of your course. It will be important for you to think about how the information will be delivered to the students in an online format, how the students will complete assignments, how you will measure the students’ learning, and how you will obtain feedback from the students to determine what’s working and what’s not and make necessary adjustments/changes, as needed. Does this sound familiar? It should be the same process you use in your face-to-face classes. The only difference in an online class is that you need to use technology in every phase of the design of your course.

It is highly recommended your first online course be one that you have taught in a face-to-face format and one with which you are familiar with the instructional materials (i.e., textbook, assignments, assessment/grading, etc.).

Instructional Design - Resources developed by California community college faculty through a Chancellor’s Office grant and monitored by the California Business/CIS Education Statewide Advisory Committee (BESAC). Includes information on creating a course syllabus and “Making the Instructional Design and Delivery Connection” with numerous links to other Web resources.

Teaching at an Internet Distance: the Pedagogy of Online Teaching and Learning - University of Illinois

Instructional Strategies for Online Courses - Illinois Online Network

The Web site for Distance Education provides information on Getting Started with Online Teaching. The Web pages supply instructors with information on using various technologies for the design of your class. Do not get overwhelmed by the technology required. Numerous workshops are offered each semester to train instructors how to use the various CATE and Moodle features, and you can make an appointment for personal assistance.

Develop Course Materials

After you have your syllabus and weekly schedule outlined, you can use that as your guide to develop the course materials needed for your class. Your lessons should include lecture information in addition to instructions on what pages in the text to read and how to complete the assignments. Basically, what would you be saying to your students if you were teaching this course to them face to face?

Of course, everything you do involves technology. Here are some Web sites that will give you ideas as you develop your materials. Again, don’t forget about the publisher of your textbook. They can be most helpful in supplying you with electronic materials they have already developed for the textbook.

British Columbia Institute of Technology - Design, development, delivery guidelines

Teaching Tips for Faculty - Developed by Honolulu Community College

Visit an Online Class

To get ideas on the design and structure of online classes, you might want to view other online courses:

CATE Sample Course

Take an Online Class

What would be even more helpful to you would be to be an online student yourself. This way you will be able to experience things from a student’s perspective. This can be invaluable to you as you develop your course materials and anticipate how your students will follow through on your instructions.

California Virtual Campus (CVC) - This Web site is maintained by the California Virtual Campus Professional Development Center. The site was originally developed by Tony Sotos and Joe Georges at El Camino College and was created under the auspices of the Chancellor's Office for the California Community Colleges. It was later moved to Butte College and redesigned by David Hammond. The CVC catalog of distance education programs and courses continues the work of its predecessor – the California Virtual University Web site – in making information available about distance learning opportunities at California institutions of higher education. The CVC Professional Development Center gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the University of California in establishing the CVC catalog.

@One Training - Online desktop seminars and video broadcasts. Also includes online courses that last for four to six weeks and takes approximately two to four hours a week to complete and focus on various aspects of online teaching.

If you are interested in a course of study leading to a certificate of completion or master’s degree, explore:

Cal State East Bay - Offers both a Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an M.S. in education with an option in online teaching and Learning. The certificate program consists of four graduate-level courses, each offered for five weeks and granting 4.5 quarter units.

What’s Next

The SRJC Staff Resource Center has loads of material in various formats that you might find helpful. Many resources are not online, so take some time to stop by the SRC, which is located at 437 Elliott Ave., the third house west of Emeritus Hall. You are able to check out materials as needed.

You may want to consider getting a mentor as you begin developing and teaching your first online class. The Distance Education site lists all faculty members who teach online. Perhaps you know someone at another college who is teaching online. You do not need to be teaching the same subject or using the same course management systems. The overall challenges are the same. Remember, your publisher may know someone using the same textbook who is teaching online who can be of assistance.

Be sure to read other sections of this Web site. Many of the links will lead to additional resources that will help you expand your knowledge and skills in online teaching and learning.