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Preparation to Teach Online

Faculty members need to be certified to teach hybrid and fully online courses at St. John’s University. Hybrid courses substitute any 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 Learning Courses.


Online Teaching Essentials

St. John’s University’s Office of Online Learning and Services offers formal training for faculty members interested in teaching hybrid or fully online courses. Online Teaching Essentials is a four-week, facilitated online course focused on online course design and pedagogy through online discussion and project-based assessment. The course provides foundational training in discussion forum management, aligning course goals with instructional strategies and assessments, and creating content for online instruction. The course is facilitated by current St. John’s University faculty with considerable online teaching experience. Enrollment will be capped at 25 participants per section.

Approximately eight to 10 hours per week of online participation is required for the full 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. 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. Please note that participants enrolling in this course are expected to have basic computer proficiency skills such as logging in, cutting and pasting text, and attaching documents to e-mails. Basic competence in the use of the Blackboard Learning Management System is also expected.

Successful completion of Online Teaching Essentials is the primary method for certification to teach any of the University’s fully online or hybrid courses. Please consult your chairperson about which hybrid or online course you will be assigned to teach in future semesters. We strongly encourage you to complete the Online Teaching Essentials course at least one semester in advance of your first hybrid or online course offering.

Please note that hybrid/online teaching assignments are at the sole discretion of the academic department.

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. 

2019 Online Teaching Essentials Dates

Fall 2019 Dates: October 21 - November 17, 2019



Application for Certification Based on Prior Experience

Faculty members with previous online teaching experience at another accredited college or university may qualify for a waiver of the Online Teaching Essentials certification course. Please review the list of pre-qualifications listed on this application form before completing and submitting the application. Applications should only be completed by faculty members who are currently teaching at St. John’s University.

When completed, kindly email the application and any accompanying attachments to:

Elizabeth (Liz) Ciabocchi
Vice Provost for Digital Learning
Executive Director, Online Learning and Services
[email protected] 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


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 will learn the pedagogical foundation for choosing to use various types of technology tools available through Blackboard that promote student engagement such as discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and journals. During the course participating faculty apply pedagogical principles to their technology-inclusion decisions so as to best support student learning and engagement. Participants leave the course with the skills to apply these concepts beyond the Blackboard platform.

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 login. 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 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.

2019 Advanced Online Teaching Strategies Dates 

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies typically runs once in the spring and fall semesters. 

Fall 2019 AOTS: 10/21/19 - 11/10/19 



Announcing Official OLS Digital Badges

The Office of Online Learning has begun issuing digital badges! The spring 2019 Online Teaching Essentials and Advanced Online Teaching Strategies cohorts are the first faculty members to receive digital badges from the Office of Online Learning.

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 tells a story of the badge, who issued it, and the competencies associated with it.

Digital Badges Online Teaching Essentials and Advanced Online Teaching Strategies

Additional Information

If you have any questions about the course or registration, please contact:

Laura Andrews
Senior Secretary
Online Learning and Services
St. Augustine Hall, 408M
[email protected]