The Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE) assists with this question. Before embarking on the approval process, we recommend that you read through the questions below and answer honestly about your teaching style. They are for your personal use and will help you assess your preparation needs if you are considering becoming an online instructor. You can also schedule an appointment with the FCPE at 516.877.4221 to brainstorm ideas and course possibilities.

To thrive in this teaching platform, you will need to acquire the following competencies:


  • Do you communicate clearly and succinctly through your writing?
  • Are you self-motivated and self-disciplined instead of scrambling at the last minute?
  • Do you believe that high quality instruction can take place outside of a traditional classroom?
  • Do you set specific objectives for your courses?
  • Are you willing to initiate and moderate online class discussions for students?
  • Are you comfortable with using or learning technology, without becoming easily frustrated?
  • Do you prepare each session’s instruction before class rather than make it up as you go along?
  • Are you able to set limits for yourself, e.g., stick to office hours?
  • Are you well organized at managing files and folders, both in your physical office and on your computer?

Effective Facilitation of Learning

  • In your teaching, do you set an invitational tone and make community building a priority?
  • Do you make expectations clear and explicit by providing rubrics, models or other guidance?
  • Do you provide students with formative assessments as well as summative?
  • Do you survey students for feedback to help meet their learning needs?
  • Can you set aside blocks of time where online posting and giving feedback take priority?
  • Are you aware of strategies for leading students through online coursework?
  • Do you enhance your courses with images, video, audio, or interactive media?
  • Can you model and adhere to “Netiquette” standards of online communication and conduct?

Technical Preparedness

  • Do you have regular access to a home computer/laptop with high-speed Internet access?
  • Can you easily surf the Web and perform searches to find necessary information online?
  • Do you use email regularly as a communications method?
  • Do you know how to download a file from the Internet?
  • Can you attach a file to an outgoing email?
  • Are you able to sit at your computer for two or more hours at a time?
  • Do you have the necessary software applications on your home and/or office computer, e.g., MS Office Suite, Mozilla Firefox browser?

Self-Assessment and Additional Resources

Depending on your answers to the questions above, you may need extra preparation before submitting a proposal to teach an online course. The FCPE can help you become adept at successfully leading students online. Our online resources contain tutorials and guides on all aspects of teaching in this modality, from developing effective learning objectives to learning how to use educational technologies. Explore these resources on your own or contact us at or at 516.877.4221 to make an appointment.

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