This paper describes the design and development of a competency model for online instructors based on literature reviews, student surveys, and other artifacts. The first development phase included a literature review centered around researched-based competencies for online instructors and existing theories used to evaluate online instructional needs. The theoretical framework used to support the research was the transactional distance theory and the relative proximity theory. The investigators used a qualitative survey-design approach to collect data. An extensive coding of data from student surveys revealed specific competency clusters. This article highlights the essential components necessary to align the model with the stakeholders' needs to implement effective online teaching practices. The recommended implementation model outlines the business needs, goals, and steps to evaluate and validate the return on investments and ensure the competency model's implementation meets the organizations' proposed needs and goals.

Competency Model Development for Online Instructors

Before COVID-19, investment in online instruction and the adoption of educational technology (ed-tech) reached approximately $18.66 billion globally (Li & Lalani, 2020). The expected projections for online educational technology are likely to reach a staggering $350 billion by 2025 (Li & Lalani, 2020). Educational technology is an essential component of online learning. However, ed-tech alone does not help students succeed in education. Ed-tech coupled with highly qualified online instructors is the critical partnering necessary to deliver good pedagogical learning opportunities. During the pandemic, almost all instructors instantly became online instructors. How can a traditional face-to-face instructor step into a role of an online instructor and be effective? Is it as simple as converting the same resources into a digital format? Many of today's online students would probably answer no to both of those questions.

A theoretical framework to help guide universities to gauge the effectiveness of their courses is through exploring the transactional distance theory (TD; Swart et al., 2014). Swart et al. (2014) defined Zhang's study of TD as “cognitive, psychological, social, cultural, behavioral and/or physical distance between learners and the other elements of their learning environments that prohibit students' active engagement with learning in the online course” (p. 223). Transactional distance theory has influenced organizational, professional development planning in higher education by examining four communication elements (Swart et al., 2014). Understanding these communication channels are critical components of increasing positive encounters with online learning. The communication channels are "student to student, student to instructor, student to content, and student to interface" (Swart et al., 2014, p. 224). Another theory to further measure students' perception of success in online courses is the relative proximity theory (RPT; Swartet al., 2014). Swart defined Zhang's theory as the “gap, or distance between the student's ideal transactional distances and their perceived actual transactional distances in online courses” (Swart et al., 2014, p. 224). By reviewing students’ course survey responses through the transactional distance and the relative proximity theoretical lenses, the investigators provide support to bridge gaps in professional development opportunities and understand online instructors' essential competencies. Online teaching and learning require a different set of skills for both the instructor and the student. Online instructors act as a coach and mentor to increase student engagement and learning opportunities, and the students must work independently to meet course objectives and learning outcomes (Abuhassna et al., 2020).

The researchers took a qualitative approach to identify and align essential competencies for online instructors in higher education at a community college in Mississippi. The development of the competency model framework considered the four communication dimensions in Zhang's relative proximity theory, student-student, student-instructor, student-content, and student-interface interactions (Swart et al., 2014).

The need for a competency model arose after a broad review of student surveys, which indicated various barriers students experienced. Student survey responses showed that the successful instructors created an online environment that provided effective instruction for their students and the critical factor of developing relationships with their students. On the flip side, students with lower satisfaction rates cited issues that hindered their ability to complete the course and extended further to dropping it altogether. Not only is this failure affecting the student's ability to persevere and achieve success, but it is also costly to universities (Abuhassna et al., 2020).

The critical research questions addressed are: What are the high-performing online instructors doing that others are not? Are those traits identifiable and transferable? Will a competency model identify the high performer's attributes so that others can benefit? Research for this paper focused on higher education; however, its model is suitable for most online instruction. The online instructor competency model is helpful for talent acquisition, talent assessment, talent integration, talent performance, and talent development.

Online Instructors in higher education must possess a basic set of skills extending beyond one's experiences as a teacher, professional experiences, technological skills, or academic successes. A successful and competent instructor does not necessarily transfer to an effective and engaging instructor in online, virtual, and other blended learning environments. Research centered on identifying the main attributes of high-performing online instructors and the relationship with increased student academic achievement and satisfaction.


An Online or eLearning Instructor position requires an individualized set of skills that will not apply to all instructors in a higher learning atmosphere. Research and development of the competency model for online instructors centered around a single job competency model (Griffiths & Washington, 2015). This initial competency model will also serve traditional face-to-face instructors considering joining the eLearning environment to deliver their courses, employees' annual reviews, and learning and development opportunities.

The single job competency model began with a literature review. Next, the researcher evaluated the current documents and procedures for onboarding new online instructors used by the college. Then, data from over 3,000 surveys were collected using the latest term of eLearning course survey results. As described by Merriam & Tisdell, the coding process of the responses was cyclical using open and analytical techniques (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Coding included reading each comment and sorting them by topics, or themes, using manual coding techniques. These surveys focused on three components of online classes, Course, Instructor, and Engagement with eLearning (Holmes Community College, 2021). The Course and Instructor sections were mandatory for students to answer each question, and the results comprised 7,684 responses. The engagement with the eLearning portion was optional, and 6,945 participants responded.

The students completed this survey at the end of the term or withdrew from the course. All online students completed a survey for each class enrollment. The development of the competency model for online instructors included utilizing the optional comments section. The comments section is random and not categorized. There are no questions, course, or instructor identification markers to sort these comments, other than if students mentioned specific names in their comments. Sorting these comments was not focused on individual instructors, only the student's perceptions of the online course. Each statement was color-coded, and the only messages discarded or not coded were those that did not explain why they were satisfied or dissatisfied. These comments did not get categorized because they had no identifying markers to code them into categories. For example, students who responded with “I did not like this class.” were not sorted into themes. Coding went as follows; unsatisfactory comments highlighted in yellow, curriculum comments in green, praises and satisfaction comments in pink, and other comments in blue. The researcher then reread the words and sorted them into the competency model clusters to ensure the model contained components essential for students' self-proclaimed needs for satisfaction and academic growth. Finally, the last element that directly defined the competency model came after several informal conversations with four subject-matter experts (SMEs) closely associated with the online instruction. These SMEs are committed to course excellence, student and instructor success, and satisfaction. The SMEs are responsible for hiring, training, and evaluating current online instructors and students' success in the online learning process and proctoring. The primary resources needed to develop the competency model development project were research and development.


Data coding of the survey results yielded five main clusters of competencies. The online instructor model depicted in Figure 1 represented the main competency clusters generated from the emerging themes from the course evaluation surveys. The emerging themes formed the competency clusters in Figure 1. Included in this model are competency clusters of communication, relationships, engagement, design, and curriculum. These cluster formations were evident after student evaluation survey responses fell into one or more of these categories. This process revealed the same attributes that make up a high-performing instructor and their online course. The responses fell into one or more of the competency clusters in the preliminary online instructor competency model. The researcher applied the relative proximity theory (RPT) to the competency model to provide the theoretical framework to support the competency model. All four communication dimensions of the RPT fell support one or more of the competency clusters. The model further depicts the theoretical underpinnings of the clusters in relationship to student-content, student-instructor, student-student, and student-interface (Swartet al., 2014), and the competency clusters.

Student narratives helped advance understanding of the significance of online instructor competencies related to student academic achievement and satisfaction with online courses. Only a couple of chosen examples show how the clusters emerged in relationship to student perspectives. The competency cluster of engagement included responses where students reported, "I love the way she adds fun in learning?" and "Providing Zoom reviews, and recorded lectures is one of the things that I loved about this course." The competency cluster statements for the communication clusters depict the essence of the feelings some students reported, "He really doesn't seem too excited to help students whenever they have a problem." and "I really loved getting our Monday morning inspirations. It was nice to wake up to see those every week :)." One student response that stressed the importance of student-instructor relationships was, "I began this semester with a severe case of COVID-19 and was struggling to complete assignments. Dr. P understood this and allowed me to submit an assignment late. I am very grateful." and "The teacher is overall a great instructor who is passionate about his job. But is limited with his interactions with his students because of it being an online class." The design cluster themes emerged from the organization's documents and literature review. However, the barriers that present themselves for students are also prevalent in their narratives. The response from one student included in the design cluster was, "My only complaint is that the labs are drag and drop answers for the labeling exercises, but the proctored exams are fill in the blank. This is difficult for me, and I am sure a lot of other students, who have trouble learning one way but being expected to test a completely different way." The curriculum cluster is not centered around scholastic rigor because that is defined and set by the individual department and subject matter experts, but rather the students' perceptions of their interactions with the content related to online learning theories. An example of a student struggling with the content is, "I've been accustomed to having video lectures with problems worked in my previous online calculus classes. This class did not provide this content beyond limited videos via the textbook." Student evaluation surveys can serve a purpose beyond judging the instructor. The surveys can provide valuable information for higher education organizations to support their online instructors by increasing awareness of desired competencies and delivering meaningful professional development opportunities.

Figure 1

Online Instructor Competency Model

Online Instructor Competency Model

Table 1 categorized and further defined the specified outlines of competencies covered within the clusters. The constant comparative methods guided the evaluation of the narratives, documents, such as job descriptions, lead online course evaluations, and the application questionnaire, against the students' responses. This method helped validate the competencies currently regarded as essential in the onboarding process and designing professional development opportunities for online higher education instructors. Furthermore, these documents offered critical technical and non-technical skills aligned with the stakeholders' preferred competencies. The placement of those competencies helped further describe the characteristics and attributes.






Dedicated virtual office hours

Passionate about connecting with students

Application of online instructional theories

Comfortable with technology

Master's degree or higher

Evaluate student work promptly

Value diversity

Create engaging content

Manage virtual learning environment

Highly knowledgeable in the subject area

Maintain records on student attendance, progress, and grades: Canvas, and other organizational tools

Achieve successful outcomes in handling difficult situations and students

Multimedia content development

Instructional design components (learning objectives, syllabus, rubric, course structure)

Online instructional learning theories (behaviorism, constructivism, connectivism, & pedagogy)

Practical communication skills in writing, by phone, and in-person:

Service orientated (mentoring and coaching students, co-workers)

Conduct lectures with engaging and meaningful audio/visual content

Instructional methods (presentation, collaborative learning, problem-based learning)

Alternative assessment approaches

Promptness in completing instructor assignments and meeting deadlines

Shift from Course Leader to Coach and Facilitator Role

Narrated presentations, educational videos, & lecture videos

Copyright and ethical issues, plagiarism

Maintain course quality assurance

Attentive to details

Adequate interaction with the student by demonstrating interest in, and concern for the student

Lead productive and engaging online discussions

Inner workings of Learning Management System Canvas, Dropout Detective, Institution's software, Enrollment Tool

Ensure student quality assurance-evaluations instructor/course

Respond to requests in a reasonable amount of time

Ensure student feels a part of a learning community

Create opportunities for adequate interaction among students

Inquisitive and creative about using online formats

Pursues learning and development opportunities

Table 2 defined the qualities that separate the exceptional performers (mountaineers) from the effective (hikers) and ineffective (walkers) performers. The terms mountaineers, hikers, and walkers describe the position of the online instructor and, in an attempt, to delineate any negative connotation regarding mastery at all levels of performances. Each level contains a list of several individual characteristics for each type of performer. Each rating also includes professional development training each performer will need for continued improvement (Human Resources at University of Wisconsin Steven's Point, 2020).

Table 2

Ratings for Defined Competencies



Distinguished High Performance (Mountaineers)

  • Role Model and Coach Status
  • Performance consistently exceeds all competency related expectations
  • Performance consistently demonstrates exceptional behaviors
  • Performance demonstrates advanced mastery of competence
  • Minimal development necessary to maintain current competency knowledge and performance
  • Others rarely equal performance of this caliber

Entirely Successful Performance (Hikers)

  • Effective performance, but may need some improvement
  • Performance achieves some and meets most competency related expectations
  • Performance consistently or often demonstrates effective behaviors
  • The performance demonstrates essential mastery of competency and some development required to maintain and increase competency

Highly Ineffective Performance (Walkers)

  • Performance occasionally achieves adequate competency knowledge and performance
  • Substantial development is required to increase competency knowledge and performance

Table 3 is representative of the compiled competency clusters and further labeled with defined competencies and abilities. Each competency is in bold lettering with knowledge, skills, and abilities outlined in bulleted format. The formation of these characteristics included comparisons to terms found in the generic competency dictionary from the Ohio Professional Development team (Ohio Professional Development Pathways, 2021), and the terminology from the higher institution's documents.

Table 3

Defined Competencies


Competency Definition


Competency Definition


Competency Definition


Competency Definition


Competency Definition

Dedicated virtual office hours

  • Consistently initiates, encourages, and conducts weekly synchronous meetings
  • Weekly emails student
  • Posts weekly reminders in announcements and on the Home page

Passionate about connecting with students with adequate interaction by demonstrating interest in, and concern for student

  • Regularly checks in with students
  • Connects during the in-between moments
  • Consistently follows up with students after meeting

Application of online instructional theories

  • Seeks out knowledge on research-based learning strategies for online learning and instruction delivery methods

Comfortable with technology

  • Demonstrate adaptability
  • Remain current on student and instructor functions of technology
  • Ability to troubleshoot basic software and connectivity issues

Master's degree or higher

  • From accredited college or university
  • Meet minimum requirements as established by the state laws and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Evaluate student work promptly

  • Consistently and thoroughly evaluates student work
  • Always provides feedback within 2-3 days of the due date
  • Responds to students' questions within 24 hours

Value diversity

  • Proactively engages and supports everyone's uniqueness
  • Values individual differences and contributions
  • Ensures all people feel included

Create engaging content

  • Designs and develops narrated presentations, including educational and lecture videos

Manage virtual learning environment

  • Update course content and links as needed
  • Post ethical and responsible behaviors expected of students
  • Ensure students have HELP resources available
  • Establish routines

Highly knowledgeable in the subject area

  • 18 semester hours minimum in the concentration of graduate work in the area of teaching assignment

Maintain records on student attendance, progress, and grades

  • Canvas and other organizational tools
  • Reliable on-time posting attendance, progress, and grades
  • Instructor name does not appear on late posting reports

Achieve successful outcomes in handling difficult situations and students

  • Emphasis on problem-solving, not punishment
  • Insists students take responsibility for actions
  • Remains courteous and professional
  • Treats all people respectfully and politely

Multimedia content development

  • Prepares videos with embedded assessment opportunities

Instructional design components

  • Learning objectives
  • Syllabus
  • Rubrics
  • Cohesive course structure

Online instructional learning theories

  • Behaviorism
  • Constructivism
  • Connectivism
  • Andragogy
  • Other applicable theories

Practical communication skills in writing, by phone, and in-person

  • Ability to explain oneself efficiently and effectively in written format

Service orientated (mentoring and coaching students, co-workers)

  • Upholds institution mission, values, and initiatives
  • High job performance
  • Excels in active listening techniques
  • Establishes trusting and meaningful relationships
  • Sets and meets short and long-term goals
  • Looks to the future

Conduct lectures with engaging and meaningful audio/visual content

  • Provides interactive learning opportunities

Multiple instructional methods

  • Presentations
  • Collaborative learning
  • Problem-based learning

Alternative assessment approaches

  • Portfolio assessments
  • Cognitive assessments
  • Performance assessments

Promptness in completing instructor assignments and meeting deadlines

  • Consistently produces work that is always among the best quality
  • Anticipates and takes action to avoid quality problems

Shift from Course Leader to Coach and Facilitator Role

  • Adapts teaching methods to what students know
  • Differentiates instruction to how students learn
  • Encourages student participation and ownership of learning
  • Employs a variety of teaching tools and techniques

Narrated presentations with educational videos graphics

  • Instructor adds to educational videos with insights and explanations

Copyright and ethical issues, plagiarism

  • All content online must be lawfully made and acquired
  • No distribution of unauthorized sharing of copyrighted materials
  • Model and promote legal, ethical, collection, and use of electronic data

Maintain course quality assurance

  • Include all items listed on eLearning Course Evaluation Forms
  • Maintain and update course information as often as needed
  • Ensure links work properly

Attentive to details

  • Efficiently allocates cognitive resources to achieve accuracy when accomplishing tasks
  • Improves workplace productivity

Interaction with the student by demonstrating interest in, and concern for the student

  • Creates student identity-building opportunities
  • Provide optional personal sharing opportunities

Lead Productive and engaging online discussions

  • Provides interactive learning opportunities

Understand Learning Management System

  • Canvas
  • Dropout Detective
  • Institution Software
  • Enrollment Tool

Ensure student quality assurance-evaluations instructor/course

  • Use survey results to create an Improvement Plan
  • Implement Improvement Plan

Responds to requests in a reasonable amount of time

  • Responds to requests quickly
  • Responds to requests with thoughtful and meaningful responses

Ensure student feels a part of a learning community

  • Creates opportunities for group work
  • Encourage virtual study groups
  • Provide and encourage opportunities to meet virtually outside of class
  • Provide the virtual tools to meet outside class

Create opportunities or interaction among students

  • Leads productive and engaging online discussions
  • Instructor participates in online discussions with at least two-thirds of students weekly

Inquisitive and creative about using online formats

  • Add images and color to pages in the course
  • Incorporate visuals into presentations
  • Utilize online whiteboards for exercises, brainstorming, mind mapping
  • Do Live class sessions
  • Game-based teaching

Pursues learning and development opportunities

  • Completes a minimum of four Virtual Training Sessions offered per term
  • Pursue outside professional learning development opportunities


The data from this study came from a single institution's documents, records and limited contributions from subject matter experts. Further investigation to validate the competency model would include a comprehensive review of multiple institutions and personal testimonies from online students and instructors. An online instructor competency model’s implementation plan should include further validation measures through designated meetings with subject matter experts and stakeholders to review and revise the competencies ratings outlined in Table 1 and the defined competencies in Table 2. The subject matter experts should include the lead online instructors, high-performing online instructors, and members of the eLearning department.


Developing a single job competency model based on the targets outlined in the mission, vision, and strategic statements helped draft the crucial skills and behaviors for online instructors to maintain and improve their students' experiences for administering the highest quality of education. Coded and analyzed survey collections further supported the impact of online instructors and their critical relationship with student satisfaction. Online instructors will have an outline and specific goals and objectives to follow. This online instructor competency model can help organizations assist online instructors in obtaining and maintaining the skills, attributes, and behaviors necessary to improve their courses. Most importantly, with the alignment of stakeholders' goals, online instructors delivering these courses will meet the requirements for a meaningful and rigorous learning opportunity, thereby increasing student academic achievement, mastery, and satisfaction, leading to improving the institution's bottom line.

Recommendations for Implementing

The primary objective of this competency model is to improve future online classes, increase student engagement, learning, and satisfaction. Before implementing the competency model, current online instructor faculty should complete a self-assessment survey on their courses. This survey will help stakeholders identify their strengths and determine the level and type of professional development training to offer instructors to improve Performance (Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators, 2015). The benefit for the online instructor to implement this competency model is that they can improve their effectiveness with limited additional training. By not implementing the competency model, instructors must attend additional training and professional development to improve their online teaching techniques.

The competency model identifies the additional competencies needed for online instructors versus traditional face-to-face instructors. Many online instructor faculty were once traditional instructors, and now many instructors are both face-to-face and online. The article written by Gulbahar and Kalelioglu titled, Competencies for e-Instructors: How to Qualify and Guarantee Sustainability stated several key competencies for online instructors. First, the researchers noted that online instructors must alter their role to coach and facilitate the virtual classroom (Gulbahar & Kalelioglu, 2015). The article further discussed necessary competencies that included instructional design, course design, design and development of multimedia components, interaction enhancement, and knowledge of Copyright and Fair Use laws (Gulbahar & Kalelioglu, 2015). Online instructors who demonstrate competency traits represented in the online instructor model at superior levels improve the framework of their online classes (Cole & Kritzer, 2009).

Uses for this competency model include crucial traits, and behaviors recruiters can utilize to hire new online instructors, and educational organizations can focus faculty training to increase professional development opportunities in these areas.

By implementing this competency model, institutions can apply it to their talent management, acquisition, development, and performance needs. The creation of new and additional documents is necessary for the instructors to identify the proficiency levels of current and prospective online instructors.

Evaluating the Model

To evaluate the online instructor competency model started using the researchers used Phillips and Phillip's (2016) Chain of Impact Business Alignment Linkage "V-diagram" Matrix. Table 4 outlined these various points of the competency model and how it can effectively drive implementation for the talent management application. Starting at Level 5, the potential payoffs would come from the costs associated with student failures or withdrawals from a course. The Target ROI is a proposed increase of 25%. Listed at Level 4 are the business needs to support its mission and vision statements and some of its strategic initiatives.

As noted in Table 4, at Level 4, the business needs to increase innovative educational opportunities using emerging technologies, provide flexible programs of the highest quality, advance student engagement, and improve student satisfaction. The impact objectives from the business need goals are a 10% reduction in student withdrawals, increased enrichment opportunities to expand student participation, and meaningful learning opportunities. First, a thorough examination of current student withdrawal evaluations compared to last term's evaluations will determine if the objectives met projections. Next, a comparison of withdrawal rates from semester to semester, and lastly, a comprehensive review and coding of student course surveys compared to the previous term will assess the Business Impact.

At Level 3, the competency model meets the job performance needs by providing an outline for the immediate application of integrating competencies in their online classes. The application objectives are to apply competencies efficiently, and learning techniques using student-centered and peer collaboration methods. The Lead Online Instructor evaluations compared to the instructor's survey results will determine the effectiveness of the faculty's improvement instruction plan utilizing the online instructor competencies to assess the application and implementations progress.

Level 2 is where online instructors expand their virtual class strategies to build a thriving online learning community. The learning objectives at this phase are for instructors to ascertain the skills and traits that need improvement. At this point, they strategically positioned themselves to create an environment enriched with engaging, interactive learning methods and strategies. As a reward, online instructors can instruct additional courses above the current number of set classes in these strategic positions. To determine the effectiveness of the learning objectives, instructors will complete surveys that contain self-reflection growth rates centered around their improvement instruction plan.

At Level 1, the preferences are to transform the online classes that need upgrading by applying instruction that meets the needs of 21st-century students. Therefore, instructor evaluations should receive an increase in favorable student ratings. To evaluate the satisfaction objectives, instructors will review student course evaluations and make an improvement instruction plan.

Table 4. Chain Of Impact Business Alignment

Program/Project: Online Instructor Competency Model

Date: July 5, 2021

Responsibility: Jena R. Hartley

Needs Assessment

Program Objective


Levels of Evaluation


Potential Payoffs

ROI Objectives


  • Costs avoided for student failures and withdrawals
  • Target ROI of 25%
  • Calculate ROI


Business Needs

Impact Objectives

Business impact

  • Increase innovative educational opportunities, utilizing emerging technologies for instructional purposes
  • Provide flexible programs of the highest quality
  • Advance student engagement to increase student success
  • Improve student satisfaction
  • 10% reduction in student withdrawals due to negative virtual learning experiences
  • Increase daily enrichment to develop and expand student participation in online courses
  • Increase meaningful learning opportunities
  • Review student withdrawal evaluations
  • Compare the current term's withdrawals to the last term to determine completion rates (converted to percentages)
  • Student course surveys reviewed and compared to previous term data


Job Performance Needs

Application Objectives

Application and implementation

  • Immediate application of Online Instructor integrating competencies in their virtual classes
  • Efficiently and effectively apply competencies, learning techniques, and strategies using student-centered and peer collaboration methods
  • Lead online instructor evaluation surveys completed before next term to review instructors survey results and effectiveness of improvement instruction plan


Skills/Knowledge Needs

Learning Objectives

Learning and confidence

  • Expand Online Instructors classroom strategies to include a focus on building a thriving virtual learning community
  • Online Instructors attain skills to create an environment enriched with engaging, interactive learning methods and strategies, aided by increased use of technology
  • Instructors will complete surveys, which contain self-reflection growth rates using a Likert scale and open-ended response questions centered around their improvement instruction plan



Satisfaction Objectives

Reaction and planned action

  • Online instruction that applies to meeting the needs of 21st-century students
  • Instructor evaluations receive favorable student ratings
  • Instructors to review student evaluations and make an improvement instruction plan


The online instructor competency model began with a thorough needs assessment to review the current competencies for online instructors compared to the research-based competencies for the same position. The alignment of the competency model supported by the transactional distance theory and the relative proximity theories provides organizations with research-based arguments to start the conversation of the critical point of considering the success of online courses from the students' perspective. These theories focus on learning, engagement, and satisfaction in online courses. This report highlighted the business need for the preliminary competency model and a proposed implementation plan to validate and implement the competency model. The graphic competency model in Figure 1, supplemented by Table 1, Competencies by Clusters, and Table 2 Ratings, and then categorized and defined competencies in Table 3 titled, Defined Competencies, emphasized the essential components of the online instructor competency model. Lastly, in Table 4 titled, Chain of Impact Business Alignment, the implementation plan outlined and aligned the business needs, objectives with a plan to evaluate the impact of the implementation plan and determine if the competency model met those needs and goals.

A model representing high-performing online instructors is essential for today's instructors because the future of education may require institutions to increase their online learning options for their students. Research reflects the upward trend of more students taking online courses in the future, increasing the need to ensure that instructors have the tools necessary to deliver highly engaging, interactive, and comprehensive studies. The success of these courses is directly related to an institution's economic bottom line and successful transition into the years ahead.


Abuhassna, H., Al-Rahmi, W., Yahya, N., Zakaria, M., Kosnin, A. B., & Darwish, M. (2020). Development of a new model on utilizing online learning platforms to improve students’ academic achievements and satisfaction. International Journal of Education Technology in Higher Education, 17(38), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239...

Cole, J. B., & Kritzer, J. E. (2009). Strategies for Success: Teaching an online course. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28(4), 36-40. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F8756...

Griffiths, B., & Washington, E. (2015). Competencies at Work: Providing a Common Language for Talent Management. Business Expert Press, LLC.

Gulbahar, Y., & Kalelioglu, F. (2015). Competencies for e-Instructors: How to qualify and guarantee sustainability. Contemporary Educational Technology, 6(2), 140-154. https://doi.org/10.30935/CEDTECH/6145

Holmes Community College. (2021). About us. Holmes Community College: https://holmescc.edu/about-us/

Holmes Community College. (2021). Holmes eLearning Resources.

Human Resources at University of Wisconsin Steven's Point. (2020). Performance review competency guide. University of Wisconsin: https://www.uwsp.edu/hr/Docume...

Li, C., & Lalani, F. (2020, April 29). The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how. World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda...

Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative research (Fourth ed.). Jossey-Bass A Wiley Brand.

Ohio Professional Development Pathways. (2021). Ohio University competency dictionary. https://www.ohio.edu/sites/def...

Phillips, J. J., & Phillips, P. P. (2016). Handbook of training evaluation and measurement methods. Routledge.

Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators. (2015). ACPA & NASPA professional competencies: Comprehensive presentation of the competency areas. NASPA: https://www.naspa.org/images/u...

Swart, W., MacLeod, K., Paul, R., Zhang, A., & Gagulic, M. (2014). Relative proximity theory: Measuring the gap between actual and ideal online course delivery. The American Journal of Distance Education, 28(4) ,222-240. https://doi.org/10.1080/089236...