The Online Teaching Essentials workshop is a CUNY-sponsored program offered by the faculty development team at the School of Professional Studies (SPS). The workshop is conducted fully online in the Blackboard LMS, with activities and assignments that can be completed on a flexible schedule (asynchronously) within each module. Currently, there is no direct registration for the workshop; participants are nominated by their campuses. Familiarity with basic functions of Blackboard is required.

The dates for the next OTE Workshop are:

  • Tuesday, July 11 to Monday, July 31, 2023

For more information, please contact your campus liaison (see the table below).

Workshop Description

The Online Teaching Essentials workshop covers best practices in online pedagogy, whether in the fully online asynchronous or mixed synchronous-asynchronous classroom, or in the hybrid or blended modalities. The workshop gives participants first-hand experience of what it is like to learn online, including the flexibility of asynchronous instruction. All activities take place in Blackboard Learn, the learning management system CUNY faculty and students have used for some time.

The Structure of the Course

  • Start Here!: Introductions and Course Information
  • Module I: Understanding the Online Learning Environment
  • Module II: Inclusive Teaching: Reaching All Your Students
  • Module III: Backward Design and Effective Assessment
  • Module IV: Online Presence and Engagement
  • Module V: Communicating and Interacting Online
  • Wrap Up: Final Project & Reflection

In each module, participants review resources related to the topic, engage in discussions with peers in the same or a similar discipline, and complete practice exercises. Experienced online faculty serve as peer facilitators guiding groups through the discussions and Blackboard exercises. The final project is a draft course schedule and syllabus that serve as a plan for teaching an online or hybrid course.

All required activities are asynchronous, with the exception of one meeting to complete a group assignment, but participants are expected to complete tasks within the two- to four-day timeframe of each module.

Faculty Learning Outcomes

Each participant who completes the course will:

  • Gain first-hand experience in and appreciation of the needs of an online learner;
  • Identify widely accepted best practices for online teaching, including principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL);
  • Reflect on how to apply to one’s own course the instructional design principles, organizational and facilitation skills, and communication and assessment strategies introduced in the course;
  • Become familiar with the basic operations and features of a Blackboard classroom from both student and instructor perspectives;
  • Create a plan for building and teaching an online or hybrid course.

Certificate & Payment Details

Participants who successfully complete the workshop according to the rubric outlined in the syllabus will receive a certificate of completion and may be eligible for a payment. 

Upcoming Online Teaching Essentials Workshops


To inquire about your eligibility to participate in an upcoming Online Teaching Essentials (OTE) workshop, please reach out to your campus liaison(s) listed below.

CampusFirst NameLast NameEmail
CUNY School of
Guttman CC (not participating)
Kingsborough CCCynthiaOlvina
Lehman (not participating)
School of
School of Labor and Urban StudiesGladysPalma de
School of Public
York CollegeGreetVan


Please direct any questions about OTE to your campus liaison listed above. 

If you require assistance related to a previously taken PTO workshop, please reach out to the Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology at 

Online Essentials Workshop: