Online Teaching Certificate

You may purchase the Foundation course as a stand-alone option. Upon completion, you will receive an Award of Completion.
Members: $1500, Non-Members: $1850
Register for Foundation Course

Levels : Beginner,Intermediate,Advanced

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 three phases:

  • A 10-week foundation course
  • Three electives or learning specializations that focus on improving overall competency within a specific area of academic focus
  • A final capstone presentation

Who should participate? 

  • Faculty interested in developing quality online and/or blended courses
  • Instructional designers and Instructional support staff

Please review the prerequisites below before registering for this program.



To register and successfully complete the OLC Teaching Certificate program participants need the following:

  • At least one year online teaching experience or some online teaching experience + completion of New to Online: The Essentials  Part 1, Getting Started workshop
  • An online or blended course that the participant can revise or create that is at least two weeks in duration.
    Note: Participants with no prior online teaching experience are required to complete all three New to Online series of workshops starting with New to Online: Essentials, Part 1, Getting Started. New to Online: Essentials Part 2, Converting Your Course, and New to Online: Essentials Part 3, Course Design Basics workshops can be taken in any order prior to registering for the Certificate Program.
  • Leveraging your background and proficiencies as an educator, administrator, or institutional leader to become highly effective in the principles and practices of asynchronous instruction
  • The opportunity of integrating OLC‘s research-based, conceptual and theoretical foundations relating to learning theory and assessment to complement and personalize your online classroom
  • Capitalizing on your potential as an innovator in the field of online education by being challenged to create high-quality work products that will be assessed by the program facilitators and your peers.
  • A better understanding of key concepts of online course design and instruction
  • Working with and learning from recognized experts in the field
  • Receiving actionable feedback for immediate application
  • The opportunity to collaborate with peers from a variety of institutions and disciplines
  • Various templates and sample rubrics
  • Drafts of an online course plan, syllabus and assessment personalized for your teaching needs

The Certificate program consists of three phases: The initial 10-week foundation course, 3 elective courses and a final capstone presentation. During all phases of the program, participants apply knowledge and skills to the development and/or revision of their own online or blended course.

Phase 1: The 10-week foundation course is an intensive, collaborative practicum. Participants are expected to spend 7-10 hours each week on course materials and deliverables and explore an array of topics, develop strategies to build their own online courses, and give and receive peer reviews. Participants also 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. At the end of the foundation course, participants are matched with a personal mentor who continues to provide targeted coaching, support, and resources throughout the remainder of the program.

Phase 2: During the elective phase, participants pursue identified areas of interest and/or need as they continue to refine strategic online course components. Participants must successfully complete 3 workshops or 1 Mastery Series.  

Please see Electives section for more details.

Phase 3: The Final Presentation consists of a synchronous, online presentation demonstrating the participant’s fully developed and/or revised online course, specific developed course components and a reflection of key learning points. This invitation-only presentation is attended by the participant’s mentor and is the capstone event for this program.

Total length of time to completion: All phases must be completed within one year from the start date of the foundation course. 

Program Objective:

Design and develop, or revise a complete online or blended course based on current research and best practices

Foundation Course Objectives:

  • Establish an online learning community
  • Explore key concepts of online course design and instruction
  • Integrate research-based, conceptual and theoretical foundations relating to learning theory and assessment to complement and personalize your online course
  • Create drafts of a course plan, syllabus and learning activity and assessment for an online or blended course

Foundation Course Weekly Learning Objectives 

Week 1: Overview, Expectations and Community

  • Summarize the program structure, expectations and requirements
  • Identify additional personal learning goals for this program 
  • Establish an online learning community for Foundation course and beyond
  • Explore key concepts regarding learning communities, presence and interactions

Week 2: Quality Online Courses and Teaching

  • Explore key characteristics of quality online courses and teaching
  • Identify strengths and opportunities for improvement related to personal course design and instructional strategies
  • Discuss how to apply the concepts of presence and student-student, student-content, and student-instructor interactions to your online teaching/course development practices
  • Describe strategies for integrating or enhancing community, presence and interaction in your online course

Week 3: Online Course Design

  • Explore the elements of an effective online syllabus and course plan
  • Identify strengths and opportunities for improvement as related to your identified online course schedule and syllabus
  • Draft an online syllabus/schedule that reflects quality course standards

Week 4: Online Syllabus Design

  • Explore the elements of an effective online syllabus
  • Identify strengths and opportunities for improvement as related to the online adaptation of your course syllabus
  • Draft a course syllabus that reflects quality standards for online courses

Week 5: Teaching and Learning with Technology

  • Explore and evaluate various online technologies and tools that may be used to support your learning objectives, online presence and interactions
  • Identify online technology strategies that are appropriate for your course and your students

Week 6: Accessibility and Usability Best Practices

  • Explore best practices regarding accessibility and usability
  • Identify strategies for integrating accessibility and usability into your online course

Week 7: Online Learning Activities and Assessments

  • Describe different types of activities and assessments you can use in your online or blended course
  • Apply concepts of quality, presence and interactions to the development of your activities and assessments
  • Develop an online learning activity and an appropriate assessment strategy that aligns with an identified course learning objective

Week 8: Curating Content and Copyright

  • Explore strategies for curating content for your courses
  • Explore institutional and regional copyright policies that may impact your course content
  • Identify copyright issues as they pertain to your course content
  • Identify curated content for your course that aligns with your course learning outcomes and adheres to your copyright policy

Week 9: Workload Management and Summary Reflections

  • Explore online faculty workload issues
  • Identify strategies to manage workload
  • Prepare to meet your mentor

Week 10: Meeting Your Mentor and Next Steps

  • Summarize the key knowledge gained through the program
  • Determine the next steps in program that align with your personal learning goals
  • Meet your mentor

Electives Information

Option 1: Three Workshops

All OLC workshops, except New to Online: Essentials Part 1, 2 and 3, and 4-week workshops, can serve as electives for your program. Optionally, participants may choose to specialize in specific workshop tracks. To specialize in a topic, select workshop electives from the same track. Available tracks are:

  • Online Design
  • Online Learners
  • Online Tools
  • Online Management
  • Accessibility

Any specializations will be noted on the program certificate of completion. If you do not want to specialize, you can select any three workshops to meet your electives requirement.


Option 2: One Mastery Series

All OLC Mastery Series can serve to fulfill the electives requirement for the certificate program. Mastery specializations will be noted on the program certificate of completion. Available Mastery Series are:

  • Online Science Labs
  • Social Media
  • Blended Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Quality Scorecard
  • Online Nursing
  • *Leadership in Online Learning

To register and specialize in a Mastery Series, use the appropriate pricing option. Register/pay for the Foundation Course Only and then pay separately for any of the Mastery Series options.  

*Participants taking the Leadership in Online Learning mastery as an elective will be invoiced for an additional $200.

Note: Only workshops or Mastery Series taken after beginning the Foundation Course of the Certificate Program can be applied as electives to complete the program.

Members can take our workshops at a discounted price. Not a member? Learn more about membership and join here.

Refund Policy
If you register and pay for a OLC workshop and are unable to enroll (due to personal schedule conflicts, illness, etc), we will be happy to apply your payment to another OLC workshop in the same calendar year upon your written request to No refunds will be given.