Professional Development and Communities in Online Teaching

Educating yourself about online or blended learning may seem like a daunting task; keeping up with the technology may seem even more overwhelming. There are many choices when it comes to increasing your knowledge and practical skills in the area of online learning. The certificate programs and individual courses listed below offer quality instruction and courses delivered in a convenient online format. One way to ease yourself into learning about online learning and associated technologies would be to follow professional organizations (Newsletters or Social Media), Blogs, or Twitter users so that up-to-date and relevant information is pushed to you; you don’t need to go looking for it.

Online Teaching Certificates and Courses

Building Digital Communities from UIS COLRS

The COLRS staff, along with Professor Karen Swan, created this course as a resource for UIS faculty.  We hope you find the course useful as you consider teaching in the online enviornment.  You may be teaching on campus using a Blackboard shell for your course, flipping your class, or supplementing your classroom; you may be teaching a blended course or in a blended program; or, you may be teaching 100% online.

This course is self-paced.  Faculty determine when and how often they participate in the modules.  Five activities for your practice are included; these are required if you wish to receive the Building Digital Communities Teaching Certificate.  Upon completion of all module assessments, a letter of completion will be issued to you and a copy sent to your dean. Faculty will also be issued a certificate and a badge to display in courses and on websites.

Estimated time to complete: 12-15 hours

To enroll: Contact COLRS.

Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Courses

The Blackboard Accessibility Interest Group sponsored the development of this course. It was designed by experts and leaders in the field of universal design and accessibility in the U.S., Canada, and around the world. The COLRS staff has modified it to be a self-paced course available to UIS faculty and staff.

Eight activities in this course are required for you to earn a certificate of completion. Upon completion of all assessments, a letter of completion will be issued to you and a copy sent to your dean. Faculty will also be issued a certificate and a badge in courses and on websites.

Estimated time to complete: 15-18 hours

To enroll: Contact COLRS.

Higher Education Online Pedagogy Graduate Certificate from UIS

The UIS Higher Education Online Pedagogy graduate certificate is designed to assist higher education faculty who would like to learn how to teach online. Candidates will learn effective practices for teaching online, build course content, and design quality assessments.

A total of 12 credit hours are required for completion of the program. Each course may be taken for elective credit in the MTL program. Contact Ryan Williams for more information.

Illinois Online Network – Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality (MVCR)

Master Online Teacher Certificate
The Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality (MVCR) series of online faculty development courses is designed to help students and faculty members acquire the skills and knowledge needed to teach and learn online, to help staff and administration support online education, to improve the quality of online education across the globe, and to research the online teaching and learning context.

Several UIS faculty & staff have received the Master Online Teacher Certificate from the Illinois Online Network.
Note: These courses may be taken for credit through UIS.

Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C)

UIS is an OLC member and receives “member pricing” on these workshops as well as discounts on conferences and webinars.

With more than 100 workshops in 74 topic areas, OLC provides the full-range of coverage to meet all of your faculty and staff online teaching and learning needs. Each workshop is developed by practitioners for practitioners; enabling thousands of colleagues worldwide to collaborate cost effectively with peers and experts, via real-time and asynchronous meetings. These workshops are 2 to 4 weeks long, and have been widely acclaimed among professional development organizations in online education. OLC members get member pricing – $150 off  regular workshop prices!

The Online Teaching Certificate prepares faculty to teach or improve online courses using the OLC pillars of quality in online education.  A unique feature of the certificate program is that expert mentors work individually with each certificate candidate to accomplish specific goals. View the OLC Workshop Schedule.

If you are interested in taking an OLC workshop, please contact COLRS.

Professional Certificate in Online Education from the University of Wisconsin Continuing Studies

“The Professional Certificate in Online Education (PCOE), offered 3 times per year (fall, summer, and spring), will help you apply proven strategies to enhance your knowledge, skill, and credibility in teaching online.

Key topics: contextual factors of online education; essential teaching and learning principles for online environments; effects of technology on education at a distance; writing learning objectives, creating online activities and designing online assessments. The certificate culminates in an ePortfolio in which you will demonstrate your skills in planning online learning and making sound instructional design decisions.”

Professional Organizations and Newsletters

  • Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C)
    Join other online educators in accessing Sloan-C View, research and information about online learning. Use the UIS membership to create your affiliated account.
  • University Professional and Continuing Education Association
    UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education.
  • Illinois Council for Continuing Higher Education
    ICCHE was established in response to related social, political, and educational issues of the era and continues to evolve, sensitive to institutional, legislative, and stakeholder concerns.
    A nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
  • IT Forum
    Sponsored by the Department of Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia. Discussions include theories, research and practices in the field of Instructional Technology.
  • Distance Education Online Symposium
    Pennsylvania State University hosts this list targeted for professionals in the distance education field.
  • SALT
    The Society for Applied Learning Technologyis oriented to professionals whose work requires knowledge and communication in the field of instructional technology.
  • Campus Technology
    For those interested in educational technology you may subscribe to Newsletters (Web 2.0, IT Trends, Smart Classroom), a Twitter or RSS feed.
  • THE Journal
    Technological Horizons in Education (THE) Journal, targeted at those in K-12 who advance the learning process through the use of technology, sponsor several RSS feeds and a Twitter that you could follow.
  • The EvoLLLution Website
    Publishes articles and interviews by individuals across the postsecondary space sharing their insights on higher education and their opinions on what the future holds for the industry—all through a uniquely non-traditional lens.

Blogs/RSS Feeds

  • Online Learning Update
    Over 20,000 sites link to this blog maintained by Ray Schroeder.
  • Educational Technology
    Another blog with a large following maintained by Ray Schroeder.
  • Slate Blog
    Blog sponsored by the Supporting Learning & Technology in Education (Slate)
    Midwest Blackboard Users Group.

#HigherEd and #eLearning Twitter Users

Following hashtags and specific users in Twitter can build a very useful personal learning network (PLN). The COLRS staff recommends these (and more, just ask!).