Professional Development and Communities in Online Teaching

ducating 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. A list of peer-reviewed journals for online education is also available.

View a list of UIS faculty who have complete professional certificates in online learning.

Community for Innovative and Engaged Learning

CIEL shares knowledge and best practices related to:

  • innovation in the classroom (whether face-to-face, blended or online)
  • effective pedagogies
  • enhancing student engagement

Develop informal networks and mutually beneficial relationships among community members. Learn more on the CIEL website.

Online Teaching Certificates and Courses

Building Digital Community from UIS COLRS

The COLRS staff created this course as a resource for UIS faculty.  This course is self-paced.  Faculty determine when and how often they participate in the modules.

Learn more about Building Digital Community.

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.

ION: Illinois Online Network Certificates

ION is a professional development program housed inside the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at UIS.

Master Online Teacher Certificate
The certificate is a series of six professional development courses for 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.

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!).

Peer Reviewed Journals for Online Education