The purpose of the study was to build a model of the factors that influence the university instructors’ adoption of the conception of online teaching named “promoting the learners’ collaboration in virtual learning environments”. We conducted a survey to nine hundred sixty-five higher education online instructors belonging to the Open University of Catalonia (www.uoc.edu). In this study we used three scales selected from a larger questionnaire that collected three types of information from the instructors: personal and professional data, online teaching roles, and online teaching conceptions. We identified several conceptions about online teaching through a factorial analysis from the third scale. In the present research we analyze the relationship between the instructors’ conception about teaching as a medium to promote learners’ collaboration (independent variable), and possible explanatory variables: gender, age, academic education, field of specialization, experience in online teaching, level of teaching, time devoted to online teaching, and instructors’ perceived relevance of their online teaching roles. Correlations and preliminary multiple regression analyses were used to make inferential judgements and test the effects of the independent variable separately. Findings from correlation analysis suggest that gender, academic education, online teaching experience, time devoted to online teaching, and, more relevant, all five teaching roles: social interaction, instructional design, technology use, learning assessment and learning processes support, are relevant predictors of the adoption of this conception of teaching by online instructors.