The OLC Institute for Professional Development offers two unique certificate programs that can help you develop and advance your professional practice in the online classroom. Use the chart below to help you decide which program is right for you at this time. OCL also offers an Instructional Designer Certificate Program. Learn more about OLC’s instructional designer programs here

Online Teaching Certificate Program Advanced Online Teaching Certificate Program
Program Focus This program 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. This program is designed to help educators fine-tune existing online courses and degree programs in order to have a positive impact on student learning. Participants conduct a critical analysis of their own course to determine how close, or far, they are from the best practices described in the OSCQR Course Design Review and the Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) scorecards. This analysis becomes the foundation and framework that each individual participant uses as they explore topics in six units of study.
Program Length This Certificate consists of three phases that need to be completed within a year:

  • A 10-week foundation course
  • Working with a mentor to create or revise an online course while going through electives
  • A final capstone presentation
This Certificate is a 12-week workshop consisting of various modules allowing participants to deeply immerse themselves in the presented topic. Each module has a “kick off” live session and culminates in a project which is presented to and reviewed by the facilitator and by peers.
Overview of Major Topics Week 1: Overview, Expectations and Community
Week 2: Quality Online Courses and Teaching
Week 3: Online Course Design
Week 4: Online Syllabus Design
Week 5: Teaching and Learning with Technology
Week 6: Accessibility and Usability Best Practices
Week 7: Online Learning Activities and Assessments
Week 8: Curating Content and Copyright
Week 9: Workload Management and Summary Reflections
Week 10: Meeting Your Mentor and Next Steps
  1. Unit 1: Game On! – Utilize the OSCQR and QCTIP scorecards to complete a course design review for a course that you teach in order to identify strong aspects, as well as areas for improvement. Learn how to use the Peralta Online Equity Rubric and accessibility checkers to ensure your course is inclusive and accessible for all learners.
  2. Unit 2: Level Up Assessment – Broaden your knowledge of various assessment techniques (formative and summative) for measuring individual and group student performance. Set your students up for success by writing clear instructions, prompts, and rubrics.
  3. Unit 3: Level Up Interaction and Collaboration –  Explore techniques for facilitating group work online, increasing interaction, and engaging learners in online discussions.
  4. Unit 4: Level Up Student Engagement – Discuss the pros and cons of active learning, as well as a broad range of active learning strategies including (but not limited to) collaborative learning, problem-based learning, inductive learning, etc.
  5. Unit 5: Level up Video and Multimedia – Explore popular forms of multimedia tools to promote student engagement and build connections within a learning community. Discuss best practices in multimedia and video production and plan engaging activities for synchronous and asynchronous lessons.
  6. Unit 6: Boss Level – Reflect on your learning, ask questions, and explore your choice of topics not yet covered in the course. This unit brings the program full circle by reflecting on improvements made to a course by again using the lens of the OSCQR and QCTIP. 
  • 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.

At least three years online teaching experience
At least one year online teaching experience AND successful completion of the OLC Online Teaching Certificate program
Who should take this program? Educators, administrators, or institutional leaders who want to become more effective online/digital teaching & learning professionals. Online faculty who wish to critically analyze and improve their online courses by incorporating active learning strategies, multimedia and social media components, accessibility standards, and stronger assessment practices.

At the end of this program, participants will have developed and/or revised a complete online or blended course based on current research and best practices and will be prepared to develop new courses.

Upon successful completion of this program, participants will be awarded an Online Teaching Certificate and a digital badge.

At the end of this program, participants will apply best practices for online/ blended teaching and learning, and will take away newly created assets that can be immediately incorporated into their courses.

Upon successful completion of this program, participants will be awarded an Advanced Online Teaching Certificate and a digital badge.

Still not sure which program is right for you? Contact and one of our staff members will answer your questions.