The OLC Online Teaching Certificate

The OLC Online Teaching Certificate prepares educators to teach and improve online courses using the OLC pillars of quality in online education—learning effectiveness, scale, faculty and student satisfaction, and access. A unique feature of the certificate program is that expert mentors work individually with each certificate candidate to accomplish specific goals. The certificate consists of a 9-week foundation course and three electives or learning specializations that focus on improving overall competency within a specific area of academic focus. The workshops in each specialization are structured to encourage skill development and practical application within the participants' specific job function. Upon completing the 9-week foundation course, individuals can select 3 individual electives, one specialization, or multiple specializations that best suit professional development objectives.

  • Prerequisite: To register for the OLC Online Teaching Certificate you must either already have taught online  OR you can take the OLC workshop "New to Online: The Essentials"   Please note that New to Online: The Essentials will not count as an elective.
  • Prerequisite:  For the OLC Certificate Program, you will be required to develop a new online course or revise an online course that you've already developed. So, as a prerequisite, you need to have an online or blended course that you can edit  OR  you can create a new online/blended course, of at least two weeks in duration, from scratch (we can provide you with a LMS shell if you need). 
  • Electives:  Only workshops you take after starting the foundation course will be counted toward your electives fulfillment.  

Participants achieve a OLC Online Teaching Certificate by completing the foundation course and their 3 chosen electives. Specializations will be cited on the candidate’s certificate of completion.

Read Keeping Pace with Online Learning Trends - an article based on interviews with OLC Certificate Program participants.

View Certificate Graduates

NOTE:  For those of you with advanced online teaching experience, we also offer an Advanced Online Teaching Certificate Program


The Sloan-C Online Teaching Certificate Program is the single most important professional development experience I have had to date.  It has changed the way I approach course development and the way I teach online for my distance education students.  I liked the Sloan-C Program so much that I encouraged my institution to become an institutional member, which they have.  My College has adopted many facets of the Sloan-C philosophy and much of what I learned in my experience with Sloan-C has been incorporated into our institutional professional development for our online faculty members. I can't recommend the program highly enough.

Dr. Rich Schultz
Associate Professor
Elmhurst College

The Sloan-C Certificate Program came very highly recommended among attendees at various online teaching conferences.  I was surprised at how much information was packed into the certification, and the highly recognized people in the field who we had as mentors!  After finishing this program, I was promoted to my current position of Manager, Instructional Design and Online Learning, and am currently in the process of opening a Technology Support Center on our campus to support both faculty in constructing and designing courses, and students in managing course materials and assignments.  In the near future, we will have course-specific tutoring to assist students in meeting the learning objectives presented in the various programs throughout our college, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU's West campus.

Kathleen A Grimes
Manager, Instructional Design and Online Learning
Arizona State University

The lessons I learned through the Sloan-C Certificate program have helped me completely redesign not only my online and blended classes but also completely redo my face to face classes. I not only recommend the program highly, I have been so impressed with the program that I earned all three certificates and wish I could find more workshop to complete. Each and every workshop was an inspiration. I would do it all again.  

Willie Jackson
Assistand Adjunct Professor
Pierce College Military Programs

Sloan-C Teaching Certificate program has provided me an immense amount of material for offering  a successful online course. Starting from constructing a very effective online-syllabus to using right tools, both synchronous and asynchronous, the contribution of this program is invaluable. I have implemented the lessons learned from this program into building my Pre-calculus course in blended learning format which I offered last semester and it was a great success. I will definitely recommend this program to others interested for online or blended learning teaching.

Sanjukta Hota
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Fisk University

The Sloan-C Teaching Certificate program was one of the most thorough and intensive courses I have taken in my 20 years of teaching.  Because of its experienced leaders, intensive assignments and 24 hour access to assistance, I was able to gain not only knowledge and experience in creating and teaching online classes but also become a part of a link to ideas, assistance, and a never-ending growth for on-line teaching. This course has made a great different in my own learning as well as my ability to teach in the world of online education.

Miriam H. Gustafson
Assistant Professor
University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus

I completed the certification to improve my own online teaching, but upon showing my class site to peers and sharing tools and techniques in faculty meetings and in University conferences, I believe the level of teaching excellence was raised within the University.  More faculty within the University have subsequently received Sloan Certification as our online offerings have expanded.

Dr. Charlene Douglas
Associate Professor 
George Mason University

I chose to enroll in the Sloan-C Teaching Certificate program because the courses and workshops are taught by knowledgeable instructors who model effective onine teaching practices and who design the courses with strong peer/cohort engagement to enhance learning. In addition, the opportunity to work with a mentor to evaluate and improve one of my own online classes was extremely valuable. I have applied the effective practices and online teaching tools learned through the Sloan-C Teaching Certificate program to improve student interaction, learning, and completion of my online classes. I strongly recommend this program to anyone who wants to strengthen the quality of the online learning experience for their students.        

Kristi Spinnie
Instructor of Office Technologies
Skagit Valley College

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Pricing Information

You have two purchase options for the Certificate Program. 

  • Option 1: Foundation Course +3 Elective Workshops Package. The price for this option is $1849.  This price includes the cost of the foundation course and the three electives. With this option, no membership discounts or college pass coupons can be used.

Note - you may not use the Mastery Series programs to fulfill your electives using this option. See Option 2 for more details.

  • Option 2: Foundation Course Only. The price for this option is $1499 for the cost of the foundation course and no membership discounts or college pass coupons can be used.  The three electives are purchased separately and may be funded by coupons available through OLC membership discounts and the OLC College Pass professional development package.

Note - if you plan to use the Blended Learning Mastery Series, the Mobile Learning Mastery Series, the Online Nursing Mastery Series, the Online Science Labs Mastery Series, or the Spatial Thinking and Web Mapping Mastery Series to fulfill your electives requirements, you must use option 2 and pay for the foundation course separately and then purchase one of the mastery series for your three electives.

Program Objectives 

The program objectives enable participants to: 1) leverage their background and proficiencies as educators, administrators, and institutional leaders to become highly effective in the principles and practices of asynchronous instruction, 2) integrate OLC‘s research-based, conceptual and theoretical foundations relating to learning theory and assessment to compliment and personalize their online classroom, and 3) capitalize on their potential as innovators in the field of online education by being challenged to create high quality work products which will be assessed by the program facilitators and their peers.

Program Benefits

  • Opportunity to work with and learn from recognized experts in the field.
  • Actionable feedback for immediate application.
  • Enhancement of existing instructional design and planning strategies.
  • Collaboration with peers from a variety of institutions and disciplines.
  • Creation of personal online portfolio.

Program Structure

The certificate is composed of one foundation course and 3 elective courses.

The 9-week foundation course is an intensive, collaborative practicum. Participants explore an array of topics, develop strategies to build their online courses, and give and receive peer reviews. Working in teams with mentors who will provide one-on-one coaching, participants demonstrate their mastery of the basic elements of online courses: planning the course, understanding role adjustment, organizing the course, incorporating the advantages of online communications, and applying the pedagogical principles that create purposeful learning communities. The typical foundation course is structured as follows:

  • Week One: Introductions
    • Understand the structure and requirements of this course and the OTC program
    • Get acquainted with the other learners, your mentor, and the facilitator
  •  Week Two: Quality Online Courses and Teaching
    • Define what is meant by quality online courses or online teaching
    • Identify some key characteristics of quality online courses or teaching
    • Apply the rubrics to your own course development or teaching practices in order to identify your strengths and learning needs
  • Week Three: The Syllabus and Schedule
    • Identify the elements of an effective online syllabus/schedule
    • Develop an effective online syllabus/schedule
  • Week Four: Online Learning Communities
    • Gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of learning communities in the online course
    • Apply the concepts of presence and student-student, student-content, and student-instructor interactions to your online teaching/course development practices
    • Understand the connection between online discussions, presence, and interactions and apply that understanding toward the development of effective asynchronous discussions
  • Week Five: Emerging Technologies
    • Develop an awareness of Web 2.0 tools and their uses
    • Describe how to effectively supplement your courses with Web 2.0 technologies
    • Appreciate the impact emerging technologies have on learner satisfaction, engagement, and learning outcomes.
  • Week Six: Assessment and Evaluation
    • Discuss the role of assessment and evaluation in learning, teaching, and course development
    • Appreciate the different types of assessments you can do online
    • Develop an effective learning activity and assessment rubric for use in your course
  • Week Seven: ADA, Usability, & Copyright
    • Apply concepts of usability and copyright in your course
  • Week Eight: Workload Management
    • Discuss faculty workload issues
    • Develop strategies to manage workload
  • Week Nine: Wrap Up & Next Steps

Electives Information

Almost every OLC workshop can serve as an elective for your program.  When you are choosing your electives, you should first decide if you want to specialize or not. 

  • To specialize, you should select your workshop electives from the same track. Workshops are categorized into tracks based on their topics and goals. If you take three workshops from one track, then you are specializing in that track and this specialization will appear on your certificate when you successfully complete the program.

    Currently, you can specialize in:

           -  Online Design
           -  Online Learners
           -  Online Tools
           -  Online Management

    Note: The workshop New to Online: The Essentials in the Online Design track will not count toward your electives.
  • If you want to specialize in Blended Learning, Mobile Learning, or Online Nursing  you will want to register for the Blended Learning Mastery SeriesMobile Learning Mastery Series, the Online Nursing Mastery Series, the Online Science Labs Mastery Series, or the Spatial Thinking and Web Mapping Mastery Series.  If you choose this option, you must use pricing option 2 (above) and register/pay for the Foundation Course Only and then pay separately for either of the two mastery series options.
  • If you do not want to specialize, you can select any three eligible workshops  to meet your electives requirements.  Each workshop lists on the registration page whether it is or is not eligible to be an elective.

    Note: New to Online: The Essentials will not count towards your electives.

 PLEASE NOTE -  only workshops taken after you begin the Foundation Course of the Certificate Program can be applied as electives to complete the program.   Additionally,  the workshop New to Online: The Essentials will not count as an elective.

More Information

Course Information

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