Virtual Instruction Handbook

The National Virtual Teacher Association (NVTA) was created to address the evolving needs of students, educators, and schools. The NVTA worked with a group of veteran virtual instructors across the country, each bringing a unique perspective based on the demographics of the students they instruct, to develop a set of common standards for virtual instruction that are nationally recognized. Based on research and best practices, these standards are built to address all learners and learning environments. These standards will be shared with you in this book. Furthermore, if you are looking to create a virtual program in P-12 or higher education and would like to access the actual rubrics to help set the expectation for high-quality virtual instruction, we encourage you to download them for free at

This book will expand on the “Principles of Virtual Teaching” (PVT) throughout each chapter. The PVT is a set of 16 rubrics utilized to evaluate each Strand of virtual instruction. It is strongly recommended that you download your free copy of the PVT at and use it to follow along with the chapters. Some sections will also include real-life stories of virtual teachers and administrators who excelled within specific indicators. These exemplar stories may help you visualize what high-quality implementation of the criteria may look like in action. Additionally, you will notice a series of questions at the end of each chapter.

In order to fully synthesize the material presented and apply the learning to your professional reality, you must take the time to respond meaningfully and thoughtfully engage in your learning. Just as you would encourage your students to take notes in the margin, draw inferences, and capture areas of clarification, we encourage you to do the same. Remember, you are invested in this work to ultimately improve your effectiveness as an educator. As a result, your students will benefit. Students are at the heart of everything we do in our professional mission. We want you to be your best because your students deserve it.