Certificate in Online Teaching
The National Council of English Teachers notes (2008), that "the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies [and] many literacies" including the ability to "develop proficiency with the tools of technology" and "create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts." The Certificate in Online Teaching will assist current faculty members in efficiently redesigning and moving their current courses into an online learning environment, capitalizing on active learning methods, which current research indicates provides a powerful learning environment (Educause Horizon Report, DoE SRI, 2009). This learner-centered experience utilizes active learning methodology to assist participants in making connections between their discipline, prior teaching experience, and the emerging technology to ensure active, engaging learning for students.
The primary focus of this program is to help educators develop course strategies, tools, and delivery methods that foster student engagement, effective teaching, and pedagogically sound methodology in an online learning environment.
Among the challenges facing higher education in the near future is the ability to adapt to and navigate a series of increasingly disruptive technologies. Throughout last fifty years, three major differences in teaching and learning are occurring: 1) Education is becoming increasingly universal, 2) the dominance of humanities and language is slowly being challenged by subjects relating to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and 3) a growing focus is being placed on student learning outcomes, assessment, and performance of international comparisons.
While it is impossible to make accurate predictions about exactly what skills and technologies our students need to be educated for, considering that many such technologies may not yet exist or may be prohibitively expensive to implement, the well-educated individual should have the skills and critical understanding in order to successfully participate in the global economy, be able to synthesize increasing amounts of data and information through textual, visual, and other non-traditional mediums, to engage across a variety of disciplines, and negotiate a range of real life and virtual social connection with diverse populations.
Traditional education has often served to treat learning as an individual endeavor. But technology can also provide support for social learning. This program examines learning as a social function that can be facilitated effectively online. Students who feel connected with both faculty and other students are more likely to persist in the program and this emphasis on social networks will form the cornerstone of student success.
Technology, however, is only one element in the educational ecosystem that also includes learning outcomes, course design, assessment, and engagement. This program will provide an overview in nine core elements that are meant to familiarize instructors with the tools of technology and provide pedagogical frameworks from which to justify their use (or non-use), foundational research, case studies, and work flows and strategies for reducing the time it takes to incorporate some of these technologies into an online class.
The Certificate in Online Teaching is focused on developing instructor competencies through practical information and opportunities to practice and experiment with new and emerging technologies and then helping them figure out which ones make sense for their particular class and their particular goals.
The Effective Instructor
An effective online instructor is one who efficiently instructs and engages students in an online environment using appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes, abilities, strategies, and tools. The effective online instructor is proficient in using the course management system, is knowledgeable and able to use computer programs typically required for online education, continually develops technical knowledge and skills, delivers the course effectively for ease of navigation, is professional, encourages students to be active and engaged, presents learning objectives and learning outcomes clearly, effectively assesses students using a variety of techniques, ensures the course has consistent standards, and adequately plans for instruction.
To address these competencies, the program identified 9 core elements of effective instruction:
- Visionary educational engagement
- Collaborative management
- Curriculum and instructional design
- Digital asset management
- Student development and learning
- Assessment and evaluation
- Data-driven decision making
- e-learning and intellectual property
- Accessibility and 508 Compliance
Each course in the program is designed around these 9 core elements which are all introduced in Introduction to Online Learning and Pedagogy and Foundations of Course Curriculum Design and then reinforced or covered at an advanced level in the remaining courses. Activities will be open ended, allowing you to explore ideas that apply to your interests, needs, and requirements. Participants will begin constructing a basic course concept or learning module which will be used to demonstrate an understanding of the core elements of the program. Participants will engage in collaborative knowledge creation, using the very tools discussed to design and present a social and collaborative media for their class and present it to the class using a variety of recommended web based apps.
Core Elements & Program Learning Outcomes
Each of the program's core elements are aligned to the program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
|Core Elements||Program Learning Outcomes|
|1||Visionary Educational Engagement||Instructor participants will discuss and write about how students learn in an online environment.|
|2||Collaborative Management||Instructor participants will present a cohesive plan to foster student communities using online tools.|
|3||Curriculum and Instructional Design||Instructor participants will present and describe a course environment as a narrative from the student's perspective.|
|4||Digital Asset Management||Instructor participants will be able to demonstrate a practical approach to keeping track of digital resources.|
|5||Student Development and Learning||Instructor participants will be able to write, critique, and discuss how students learn using at least one pedagogical approach.|
|6||Assessment and Evaluation||Instructor participants will be able to demonstrate the use of either formative or summative assessment in an online environment.|
|7||Data-driven Decision Making||Instructor participants will be able to present, demonstrate, or discuss how they plan to use feedback and course data to make modifications and improvements to their courses or assignments.|
|8||eLearning and Intellectual Property||Instructor participants will be able to discuss the DMCA law and how it applies to the materials and content planned for the course.|
|9||Accessibility and 508 Compliance||Instructor participants will be able to discuss and critically assess their own course resources for accessibility and 508 compliance. They will be able to demonstrate a variety of accommodations for the content they develop.|
The Certificate in Online Teaching is a 6 month program consisting of the following 4 week courses:
Introduction to Online Learning and Pedagogy provides an overview of instructional design, teaching, and community management for faculty seeking a better understanding of online teaching and learning. Participants will be introduced to a variety of pedagogical concepts and tools in order to establish a firm foundation in online learning theory and practice.
How do you begin developing an online class? Foundations of Online Course and Curriculum Design, we will take a closer look at the instructional design of an online course. Using backward design, participants will explore the process of developing a well-structured and cohesive course while addressing synchronous and asynchronous concerns in communication, as well as other elements that impact planning and design such as media, organization, accessibility, and assessment. (More information)
Authentic Assessment for the Online Classroom will look at various methods of both formative and summative assessment and the implications they have on the online course. We will explore a variety of assessment options from basic exam building strategies to more authentic assessments, proctoring and program improvement.
Student Collaboration & Social Learning in an Online Environment looks at technologies, methods, and practices that build communities and encourage collaboration between students and instructors. Participants will explore research based ideas that are both effective and practical while determining how (or if) collaborative and social media might best fit within your instructional goals and outcomes.
Student Experience: Online Accessibility & Compliance provides practical strategies and pedagogical advice on accessibility and compliance for instructors teaching in an online environment. Participants will explore the history and legal framework for the American with Disabilities Act, then work to identify potential problem areas, discuss, and develop strategies to adapt to unforeseen situations.
Everyone knows that teaching online takes more time, right? Instructional Technology: Management and Workflow focuses on how to manage and improve instructor workflow. Participants will brainstorm, explore, and develop useful frameworks and processes for managing their digital workloads and online classes.