2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Northern Virginia Community College

High-Quality Remote Synchronous Training: Just-in-Time Professional Development for Teaching Remotely

With the pivot to virtual teaching and learning in spring 2020, many faculty were eager to learn more about remote teaching. A High-Quality Remote Synchronous (HQRS) Task Force comprised of deans, faculty, and leadership from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was formed to develop a framework of expectations and training to assist faculty in the creation of robust remote synchronous courses. A review of best practices and a survey of faculty needs identified four relevant instructional domains: instructor presence and communication; assessment, assignments, and activities; grading and feedback; and engagement. Competencies, demonstrable expectations, suggested applications/examples, and training resources were proposed for each domain. During summer 2020, 367 full-time faculty and 411 adjunct faculty were compensated to complete 10 hours of HQRS professional development consisting of training in technical skills for Canvas and Zoom and information on pedagogy and best practices for teaching online. Consequently, by fall 2020, many Northern Virginia Community College faculty were HQRS certified.


  • William Davis, Director, Extended Learning Institute
  • David Epstein, Dean, NOVAarts
  • Heidi Redmond, Director, Canvas and Educational Technology Support Services
  • Nicole Tong, Professor, English
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