Getting Started


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. For these purposes, an online class is defined as one in which 51 percent or more of the material is delivered via the Internet. 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.


Before a course can be delivered as an online class, the appropriate instructional department must submit a Distance Education proposal for that course to the Curriculum office, and that proposal must then be approved by the Curriculum Review Committee. Upon approval of the DE proposal, the course becomes permanently available for online delivery by any instructor as the department sees fit.

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.

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)

After a course has been approved for online delivery, it's up to the department to determine which sections will be delivered online, and which instructors will teach those sections, based on guidelines developed by the department. In particular, some departments might require a certificate of online special expertise; check with your department for details.

In all cases, the instructor is required to use SRJC's Distance Education resources, such as CATE or Moodle, to host and run an online class



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.

Canvas trainings are offered regularly - check the Canvas Trainings & Tutorials page to see all of the upcoming Canvas trainings.

CATE & Moodle use at SRJC is being phased out. Starting January 1, 2017, Canvas will be the only LMS offered.


The instructor will probably want to have experience as a student in one or more online classes before attempting to develop and teach an online class. (See also CSKLS 334 "How to 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.


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.).


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.

Teaching Tips for Faculty - Developed by Honolulu Community College

Under all circumstances, before a particular instructor can be scheduled to teach a particular course online for the first time, his or her Web-based materials for that class must be inspected and approved for compliance with all federal, state, and district accessibility laws and regulations. (See also more information about accessibility compliance.)