Fifty-One Competencies for Online Instruction

Theodore C. Smith, Axia College, Western International University


The effectiveness of distance learning must be measured in results—quality learning. Learner-center programs and competent instructors are two oft-cited keys to success in higher education. Teaching online requires specific skill sets (competencies). This paper identifies and describes 51 competencies needed by online instructors and outlines an instructor-training program that satisfies 3 of the 24 benchmarks for excellence recommended by the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

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