Developing an Online Course

In accordance with the AFT 2121 Contract and Title 5, City College of San Francisco requires instructors to train to teach online and to be approved for each course that is developed for online delivery. Below is more information. 

Application Cycles 

Applications are accepted by semester cycles. See the cycle dates for future semesters below. Questions about deadlines or cycle dates? Contact Jennifer Kienzle, Distance Education Coordinator at

  • Spring 2021 Cycle
  • Summer 2021 Cycle
  • Fall 2021 Cycle
Process for Developing an Online Class

The Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology Department support faculty in the development of all credit and noncredit online classes offered at CCSF.

Faculty can apply to teach a new online class (e.g., a class that has never been online) or an existing online class (i.e., a takeover). 

There are several steps in the development of an online class.

  1. Faculty must talk with their Department Chair to identify a course for online development. It is strongly recommended that faculty develop courses that fulfill CCSF graduation requirements, meet CTE requirements, or transfer to the California State University and/or the University of California systems.  Also, courses that are severely impacted are more likely to succeed online. Without Department Chair approval, the course cannot be developed. Make certain that the course supports the College's Mission Statement. 

    Note on takeover classes: Faculty can apply to teach a class that has already been developed online. Reassign units are also different for takeover classes. Please see the AFT contract for more details. 

  2. Faculty need to be Canvas Ready, meaning that they have some level of proficiency with using Canvas in their class. To be Canvas Ready, faculty must either have successfully taught an officially online course at CCSF, completed the Temporary Distance Learning Training at CCSF, or completed the self-paced Introduction to Canvas Course and sent the badge to

After becoming Canvas Ready and getting approval from the Department Chair, faculty should complete the Application to Develop an Online Class

  • Faculty can only formally apply one time and for one course per application cycle.
  • After faculty submit their application, their Department Chair will be notified to formally approve the application. Approval moves the application to be reviewed by the Distance Learning Advisory Committee. 

The Distance Learning Advisory Committee (DLAC), a Shared Governance Committee, reviews the application for a faculty member to develop a new online course. Important Note: DLAC reviews applications and sends recommendations to the Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology, where funding and final decisions for training will be made.  

We encourage faculty to check DLAC meeting dates to see when their application will be reviewed and to learn more about DLAC. 

The Educational Technology Department funds the development of online classes per the AFT 2121 contract, Exhibit N. We also work with departments who receive grant funding to develop online classes. 

After the course is approved for development the faculty member is added to the next cohort of faculty developing online classes.

Before teaching an online class a faculty member must participate in District mandated training called Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning (IOTL) for new faculty to online teaching or Advanced Online Teaching and Learning (AOTL) for faculty who have completed the IOTL. 

IOTL is a 5 week intensive course with approximately 10 hours a week of work. 

The faculty member works closely with the Educational Technology Department in the development of the online course. Faculty are trained on the pedagogy of converting a face-to-face course to online delivery by participating in the Online Teaching and Learning Course. Face-to-face workshops are required where faculty learn how to use the various tools available in the LMS. One-on-one meetings are required as faculty build content in the new online class, culminating in a final course review (known as a showcase in previous iterations). 

At various stages of development, the new class is reviewed by CCSF’s Alternative Media Specialist for accessibility/508 compliance and by the Educational Technology Department for deliverability. Additionally, the class is required to meet the College-wide Curriculum Committee requirements for the delivery of a distance learning class (information about these requirements is included in the training).

Final approval is done in collaboration with the developing faculty member, the Department Chair where the course is housed, the Distance Education Coordinator, Distance Learning Teaching Specialist, and the Educational Technology Chair. The process takes one to two semesters.

Before a class can be offered online it must meet the CCSF Curriculum Committee Distance Education Addendum Requirements. Once the class has been approved for development, the Educational Technology Department works with the developer to make certain that curriculum requirements are met.

Those applying to develop an online class do not need to complete the Curriculum Committee requirements until after the application is approved and they are in the training.