Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Interested in teaching online?

Getting started

Instructors are required to complete the Online Instructor Orientation (OIO) prior to teaching a first fully online class at PCC – even if the instructor has taught online at another college. The OIO provides important orienting information about the PCC online-teaching environment, including the D2L Brightspace learning management system, and builds skills in promoting equitable student success – a top priority at PCC.

If you are a PCC instructor who is interested in teaching online, you should let your dean or faculty department chair know that you are interested in teaching online. Deans and FDCs work directly with Online Learning to enroll instructors in OIO training.

What to expect if you are selected for OIO training

OIO training has three phases:

  1. Competencies for Using Brightspace (CUBS) course (online, self-paced).
  2. D2L Brightspace Skills Assessment (real time, in Zoom or in the lab).
  3. Belonging, Equity, Access, and Retention Skills (BEARS) course (online, cohort-based).
Phase 1: The CUBS course

Competencies for Using Brightspace (CUBS) is a self-paced online course that takes 5-6 hours to complete.

An instructor may self-enroll in the CUBS course at any time by clicking on the self-enrollment link at the bottom of the CUBS overview page.

There is no stipend for completing the CUBS course, but an instructor who completes the OIO, which includes the CUBS course, will be paid a stipend for OIO completion.

Phase 2: The Skills Assessment

Completing the D2L Brightspace Skills Assessment is a prerequisite for enrolling in the BEARS course. The goal is to ensure that every PCC online instructor has a basic level of skill in using D2L LMS for teaching.

The Skills Assessment takes one hour and occurs in real time, either face-to-face in a lab at Sylvania campus or face-to-face in Zoom. Online Learning will reach out to OIO participants to schedule the Skills Assessment.

What will instructors be asked to demonstrate during the skills assessment?

See the list of tasks you might be asked to complete during the skills assessment.

Phase 3: The BEARS course

BEARS (Belonging, Equity, Access, and Retention Skills) is the last phase of the Online Instructor Orientation. It is a fully online training course that is required for instructors to prepare them to teach fully online at PCC for the first time. The course is open only to PCC instructors who have been approved by their program dean for online training and have subsequently completed the D2L Brightspace Skills Assessment.

BEARS lasts six weeks, starting on Monday of week 2 each term and ending on Monday of week 7. Each trainee is expected to spend three hours per week on course activities, for a total of 18 hours over the six weeks of the course.

All course activities are asynchronous, though there are optional Zoom meetings. The course is not self-paced: trainees will complete the course as part of a cohort and complete weekly learning activities in sequence. Learning activities occur within D2L Brightspace and may include:

  • Submission of written, audio, or video assignments;
  • Participation in weekly online discussions;
  • Completion of self-assessment via knowledge checkpoints;
  • Engagement with other online tools.

A trainee can take the course from anywhere that has a strong and reliable internet connection — there’s no requirement to be in the Portland area.

Course topics include the following:

  • Using online learning design to improve your online course.
  • Building student engagement.
  • Maintaining online instructor presence.
  • Using principles of equity and access to drive student success.
  • Using feedback to guide learners and improve assessment.
  • Supporting technical needs of online students.
  • Supporting the online instructor’s professional development.

Please contact Peter Seaman for more information.