Online instruction is now a common practice in higher education. Due to the great demand for online instruction, roles and competencies of online instructors have received significant attention to be determined. This study is a systematic review of 11 years of research (2010–2020) on the higher education context's online instructor roles and competencies. The study aims to classify the roles and competencies of higher education instructors in online teaching and learning environments. Forty-three articles were selected from 9 major academic databases using search strings and manual screening protocols. The literature analysis emphasized a total of thirteen roles and eight competency categories. Communication, development, and management have been identified as top online instructors’ roles. While “planning, design, and organization”, “interaction”, and “assessment” have been found as top online instructors’ competencies. Further, the time trend analysis showed that communication and developing were the most repetitive roles, and two approaches to identify competencies were found.
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