Online Education - Faculty Resources

Best Practices for Online Teaching

The Best Practices for Online Teaching checklist is a compilation of best practices associated with teaching asynchronous online courses.

For synchronous teaching, we recommend following the Best Practices for Virtual Teaching.

At a minimum, faculty teaching any online course should follow the First Day of Class Recommendations developed by the Vol State Faculty Council.

Training and Development

Distributed Education offers regular faculty training and professional development on the integration of technology into teaching and learning. Topics include use of the College’s learning management system (eLearn) and other educational technologies, online course design, best practices for distance education, universal design for learning (UDL), accessibility, and more.

All Vol State faculty who teach online or hybrid courses are required to successfully complete eLearn Essentials within their first semester of teaching. Failure to pass eLearn training by the end of the first semester will disqualify the faculty member from teaching future online or hybrid courses. This training is fully online, asynchronous, and self-paced.

The training schedule and registration information is available through the Teaching and Learning Center.

Faculty who teach or develop courses for Vol State through the TN eCampus partnership are required to complete specific training. Contact the Office of Distributed Education for details.

Technical Guides and Help


eLearn is Vol State’s learning management system. You can find many how-to articles about using eLearn and related tools on our knowledge base: eLearn for Faculty


At Vol State, we support access for everyone. Use the knowledge base to find resources for creating more accessible, inclusive materials: Accessibility

Online Course Development

Process and Timeline

Faculty interested in creating or significantly revising an online or hybrid course should visit our course development process page. This timeline will help you plan your course and complete all the necessary paperwork.

Course Standards

Volunteer State Community College is committed to implementing a minimum set of nationally-normed standards for the design of online and hybrid courses. Our standards assure that the online components of these courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners. For more information, please review our standards.

Distributed Education Handbook

Read the Distributed Education Handbook to learn about important policies and procedures related to online and hybrid learning at Vol State. The Distributed Education Handbook is a living document that is updated on an ongoing basis as needed in order to keep the most current and accurate information in your hands. Major sections of this handbook include an overview and history of Distributed Education at Vol State; student support services information; administrative guidelines; and faculty support services information.