Technical Competencies

Technical Competencies

Teaching online courses is more than knowing the content. We offer this rubric for self-assessment of your technical competency.

An instructor should be able to:


1. Create learning materials as needed.

Core competencies for materials design include the ability to create and manipulate documents, manage files and folders, and work with multiple windows or monitors.

  • Create, edit, and upload audio files and video presentations.
  • Be able to create and manipulate files and folders.
2. Build the course in Canvas, ISU’s Learning Management System.

Canvas online training, guides, and resources along with CELT and our campus partners are available to help you learn how to use Canvas, our learning management system. For the sake of student privacy and information security, we recommend using only technologies that require students to log in with their ISU NetID and password.

  • Successfully log into Canvas and access the course.
  • Navigate the course space to locate critical course elements, such as syllabus, lessons, gradebook, and email.
  • Upload files, add descriptions and link to activities.
  • Organize learning materials and activities into Modules.
  • Set-up and manage student grades.
  • Create assignment folders to collect student work.
  • Create rubrics to help you evaluate student work.
  • Set the deadlines for assignments and other activities to appear in the calendar.
3. Effectively use course communications systems.

Become comfortable conversing with your students via email, chat, web conferencing, discussion forums, and announcements as needed.

  • Use the ISU Admin Tools, in Canvas, to enroll students, add co-instructors, teaching assistants, and outside guests with the appropriate permissions.
  • Know how to set-up and manage teams/groups within a course.
  • Know how to upload and download submissions via Canvas, CyBox, GoogleDocs, or other student submission tools.

4. When using video creation or webinar tools…

  • Utilize important visuals and interactive learning objects to increase student engagement and understanding.
  • Effectively and competently understand the video conference equipment in order to provide basic troubleshooting.
  • Select the appropriate tools to integrate activities (see instructional strategies page) for all students at various sites.

Teaching Online Competencies by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Iowa State University is s licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. This work, Teaching Online Competencies, is a derivative of Teaching Competencies for 100% Online Courses by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato (retrieved April 22, 2020) and the original work, Faculty Competencies for Online Teaching, developed by the Penn State Online Faculty Engagement Subcommittee (November 2011).