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Teaching Online
Teaching Online
Home » Faculty/Staff » Teaching Online » Getting Started

Getting Started

Become Qualified


Instructors assigned to teach fully online classes are required to be qualified*. Of course, you can begin designing your course before (or while) you complete training.

 The basic requirements are training in:

  1. Learning Management System (Canvas)
  2. Online pedagogy
  3. Accessibility

The easiest way to meet not only Cuyamaca College certification requirements, but certification that will be recognized at most community colleges in California is to get a Course Design Fundamentals Certificate

A Teaching with Canvas course should be taken before taking any other courses. We highly recommend the 12-week Online Education Standards and Practices course which includes training in the second two requirements.

You could also fulfill the 3 requirements by participating in 3 separate courses:

  1. CanvasCuyamaca's Teaching with Canvas course (sign up now) or @ONE's Introduction to Teaching with Canvas course or a similar course from another college.
  2. Online pedagogy.  @ONE's 4-week online Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning or  Introduction to Course Design course.
  3. Accessibility.  @ONE's 4-week Creating Accessible Course Content

Specific dates for these trainings can be found in the @ONE Course Catalog.

We have limited funding for @ONE training.  Contact the Distance Education Coordinator ( if you are interested in being reimbursed for the cost of these course upon successful completion.

Alternative pathways include:

  • Demonstrated prior experience teaching a high quality online course
  • Working closely with an experienced online teacher/mentor (for example, team teaching with an online instructor mentor)
  • Certification from another college

* See the Senate-approved (3/14/13) Ensuring Quality Online Instruction for more information.

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Set up your Course Container


Canvas makes it easy to develop a course as it includes tools to make an online course work well. Empty Canvas container shells are automatically created for each course section you are teaching for each semester and will appear when you login to Canvas. You can build your course from these empty containers and/or copy material from a previous course into these containers (for more information, see How To Import a Blackboard Course). If you want to get a head start on development, you can request a "development container" at any time and then copy your work to new containers in the future.

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Select, Group, and Organize Assignments, Activities, and Assessments

Decide on what you would like to include in your online course. At first, draw upon your F2F class as a model for the types of items to include. You could include presentations of content (lecture notes, handouts), readings, discussions of material, tests and papers, etc. Then develop new, extra material for online presentations (see the Content, and New Ideas areas on this site).

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Convert Your F2F material to an Online Format

If you are going to make your F2F material available online, it's usually best to convert to an online format (see Choosing Materials and Content for more on this).

Canvas will let you Preview or embed Word docs within pages, and it is also possible to embed PowerPoint presentations within Canvas Pages, but if you want students to view downloaded files, they either need Microsoft Office or you need to convert to pdf.

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Design a Schedule

Just as you do in a F2F class, divide your course into blocks or chunks (called Modules in Canvas). Use weeks, modules, lessons, units,or some other divider and set up general deadlines based on the college schedule. Place assignments within these groupings (see Assignments and Creating an Assignment for more on this).

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Plan On How to Engage the Student

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You need to decide how you are going to communicate with students and how you are going to make students interact. This includes your rules on email, discussion boards, and submitting assignments. (see Communication, Handling Dbs, and Submitting Assignments for more on this).

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Activate Your Course

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Students for each section are automatically added into your Canvas  container each semester. Use WebAdvisor/Colleague to further manage (drop) students. Use Publish in Canvas to make your course "available". Also, be sure to include any pre-signup instructions for your class in the notes section of the Cuyamaca schedule notes (see The Server). You should be given direction on this the semester before your course begins usually by your Chair or Dean.

* for an overall timeline for course development, see The Server

Last Updated: 06/13/2018
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  • Cuyamaca
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