Common traits of effective online teaching

Media release

22 June 2023

Effective online training practices share many characteristics with traditional classroom approaches, but how they are implemented may differ, according to the latest research by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The report Effective teaching practices and student support services in online VET examined eight case-study qualifications ranging from Certificate II to Diploma level to understand the characteristics of online teaching approaches in a range of training settings.

The research found that due to the varied nature of training environments, student groups, qualification types, and industry settings, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to online training.

Despite the variability, five common themes that contribute to effective online teaching approaches were identified. They are:

  • simplicity, clarity, and consistency
  • varied and engaging learning material
  • communication and engagement
  • flexibility, and
  • student support.

Across the eight qualifications examined, there were notable exceptions to these themes which suggests that online learning may not always be appropriate for foundation skills and traditional trades qualifications.

The report also highlighted that providing proactive and individualised support to students is crucial for those undertaking online training.


This research examined effective teaching practices and student support services that facilitate the successful online delivery of vocational education and training (VET), including in blended delivery.

Download the report: Effective teaching practices and student support services in online VET

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Enquiries: Chantal Deutrom P: +61 8 8230 8418 E:

About NCVER: we are the main provider of research, statistics and data on Australia’s VET sector. Our services help promote better understanding of VET and assist policy makers, practitioners, industry, training providers, and students to make informed decisions.

This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.