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Preparation to Teach Online

Faculty members need to be certified to teach hybrid and fully online asynchronous courses at St. John’s University. Hybrid courses substitute classroom-based teaching with online learning activities.

There are two ways to receive certification: Complete the Online Teaching Essentials Course OR Receive an approved waiver from the Office of Online Learning and Services based on your Application for Certification to Teach Online Based on Prior Experience. 

Online Teaching Essentials

St. John’s University’s Office of Distance Education offers formal training for faculty members planning on teaching hybrid or fully online asynchronous courses. 

Online Teaching Essentials (OTE) is a four-week, facilitated online course that helps faculty learn foundational skills and fundamental concepts for creating a successful high quality student learning experience. This course focuses on the pedagogy and design of an online/hybrid course and is not meant to be training in the Canvas Learning Management System or other technology used by the University.

OTE models how to form a learning community to increase student motivation and engagement, powerful practices for feedback and presence, and skills for facilitating and managing your online/hybrid course. OTE is designed to create a space for faculty to re-imagine how they would teach in an online/hybrid format including the redesign of goals and objectives, effective teaching strategies and authentic assessment.

Participants are also provided the opportunity to take into consideration how a student experiences an online class, which can be valuable for instructors as they design their courses. 

Participation Requirements 

All participants are asked to familiarize themselves with the basics of the University Learning Management System Canvas before beginning the workshop. Please note that participants enrolling in this course are expected to have basic computer proficiency skills such as logging into the LMS, cutting and pasting text, and attaching and uploading documents. 

Participants will need to dedicate approximately eight to 10 hours per week of online participation and must be available to participate in discussion during each of the four weeks to complete the course. 

Participation is asynchronous, which means that there will be no face-to-face sessions or required dates/times when you must log in. However, all course assessments must be submitted by the stated deadlines in order to successfully complete the course and obtain certification. Participants might be asked to retake the course at another time if they fall too far behind. 

Additional Information

We strongly encourage you to complete the Online Teaching Essentials course at least one semester in advance of your first hybrid or online asynchronous course offering. This will provide you with the time needed to redesign your course for success. 

OTE is facilitated by current St. John’s University faculty with considerable online asynchronous teaching experience. Enrollment will be capped at 25 participants per section to foster a learning community, create a high level of interaction and allow for individualized feedback from the course facilitator. 

Successful completion of OTE is the primary method for certification to teach any of the University’s fully online asynchronous or hybrid courses. Please consult your chairperson about which hybrid or online asynchronous course you will be assigned to teach in future semesters. Please note that hybrid/online asynchronous teaching assignments are at the sole discretion of the academic department.

Register for Upcoming Sections of Online Teaching Essentials

The next course will run form Monday June 3 - Sunday June 30, 2024

You can register online beginning on May 13.

Registration does not guarantee enrollment in the course. In the case of an overwhelming number of faculty registrations, we will give priority to those with an upcoming scheduled online teaching assignment. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

For inquiries please email Ian August, [email protected]

Application for Certification Based on Prior Experience

Faculty members with previous training in the pedagogy of teaching asynchronous online/hybrid courses and asynchronous online teaching experience at another accredited college or university may qualify for a waiver of the Online Teaching Essentials certification course. List the pre-qualifications and additional documents here. Applications should only be completed by current and prospective faculty members of St. John’s University.

Please note, teaching online during the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID will not be considered as prior asynchronous online teaching experience. 

You can complete the form digitally and submit all required documents using the link above. All requests must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the beginning of the semester. You will receive a response to your waiver application in approximately two weeks. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. 

As a reminder faculty do not require a waiver to teach online synchronous courses or hybrid courses where the online component is synchronous. 

Ian August
Assistant Director Office of Distance Education
[email protected]

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies (AOTS) is an OPTIONAL three-week online course covering topics and materials that build upon the teaching techniques covered in the Online Teaching Essentials course. AOTS addresses critical areas of online teaching including engagement and interaction, active learning, and authentic assessment.

Participants in this course will develop, analyze, and evaluate interactive tools and pedagogical principles to advance their online teaching.  The principal assessment method for this course will be the Engaging Activity Design Template (EADT); a planning document that will enable participants to create a fully conceptualized and finalized design of an engaging and authentic learning activity for an online or hybrid course. The course is designed to be highly interactive which means there will be a great deal of peer instruction and discussions.  The assessment activities that comprise this course are designed to be student-centered, authentic, and provide many opportunities for feedback and reflection. 

AOTS is facilitated by an active member of the St. John’s faculty with considerable experience in online teaching. The course is taught in a cohort learning model, meaning you will participate with other faculty in the same activities. Enrollment is capped at 20 students per session.

Successful completion of Advanced Online Teaching Strategies requires approximately six to eight hours per week of online participation for the full three-week duration of the course. Participation in this course is asynchronous, which means that there will be no face-to-face sessions or required dates/times when you must log in. You may participate on your own schedule, however, all course assignments must be submitted by the stated deadlines in the syllabus in order to successfully complete the course and obtain certification. At the successful conclusion of this course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Certification to teach online at St. John’s is a prerequisite for enrolling in the AOTS course.

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies Registration & Dates 

The dates for the next course are being determined. 

You can email Ian August, [email protected], if you would like to be added to our waitlist. 


Official ODE Digital Badges

The Office Distance Education is issuing digital badges! 

What is a digital badge? Digital badges are a way to recognize, support and track professional development. One benefit of digital badges is that they are easy to track and share on your own website and social media websites like LinkedIn. The data connected to digital badges tell a story of the badge, who issued it, and the competencies associated with it.

st johns university, distance education, online teaching essentials digital badge
Advanced Online Teaching Strategies Badge, Distance Education, St. John's University

Additional Information

Ian August
Assistant Director
Office of Distance Education
St. Augustine Hall, 408H
[email protected]