Online Teaching Certificates

Online Teaching Certificates

These online teaching certificates were developed through research in teacher training and professional competency development and are open to all Penn State faculty.

There is a core set of courses that, when combined, leads to the Foundations for Online Teaching Certificate. We recommend that you begin with this certificate program, but it is not mandatory.

Foundations for Online Teaching Certificate

This is a four-course online certificate that helps you develop essential competence in online teaching. As you gain experience, a variety of courses, credentials, and opportunities become available to support your professional development. We are also working with colleges to repackage this certificate to meet faculty needs in specific colleges and academic programs. For more information and professional advising, contact Cathy Shreckengast.

Certificate courses:

  • OL 2000: Essentials of Online Teaching — February, April, June, August, October, November 
  • OL 2100: Introduction to Canvas — February, April, June, October
  • OL 3000: Supporting Accommodations for Online Learners — March, May, July, September, November
  • OL 1200: Student Support and Advocacy in Online Learning — February, June, August, November

Three additional certificates are also available. You can take courses within the certificates individually or you can complete the series to fulfill  certificate requirements.

The Learner and Learning Certificate

Teaching begins with the learner. To ensure that each student learns new knowledge and skills, teachers must understand that learning and developmental patterns vary among individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the learning process, and that learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive.

Certificate courses:

  • OL 3000: Supporting Accommodations for Online Learners — March, May, July, September, November
  • OL 3100: Teaching the Adult Learner — April, October
  • OL 3200: Serving the Military and Veteran Student — March, July, December 
  • OL 3300: Teaching the International Student — July, October 
  • OL 3400: Online Course Design — May, November
  • OL 3500: Gamification in Online Teaching and Learning — March

If you have already completed the Foundations for Online Teaching Certificate, you will have already completed one of the courses required for the Learner and Learning Certificate.

Instructional Practice Certificate

Effective instructional practice requires teachers to understand and integrate assessment, planning, and instructional strategies in coordinated and engaging ways. Beginning with their end or goal, teachers first identify student learning objectives and content standards and align assessments to those objectives.

Certificate courses:

  • OL 2000: Essentials of Online Teaching — February, April, June, August, October, November 
  • OL 2100: Introduction to Canvas — February, April, June, October or OL 2150 Canvas Hands On — September 
  • OL 2200: Assessment of Online Learners — May, August, November
  • OL 2300: Teamwork in Online Teaching and Learning — February, May, August
  • OL 2600: Accessible Online Course Authoring — February, April, July, October

If you have already completed the Foundations for Online Teaching Certificate, you will have already completed one of the courses required for the Instructional Practice Certificate.

Online Course Authoring Certificate

Authoring an online course requires a set of skills in course design and management as well as technical competencies that are beyond what is essential for effective teaching. This certificate includes four courses that introduce faculty authors to principles and processes for effective online course design, concepts for creating accessible content for all students, integration of information literacy and library components into course content development, and a broader and deeper understanding of the Canvas learning management system. Though not included in this certificate, it is highly recommended that course authors complete OL 2000: Essentials of Online Teaching in order to get a richer understanding of how effective online teaching practice and online course design are related.

Certificate courses:

  • OL 2150: Canvas Hands On — September
  • OL 2400: Integrating the Library into your Online Course — June, October
  • OL 2600: Accessible Online Course Authoring — February, April, July, October
  • OL 3400: Online Course Design — May, November

Inclusive Online Teaching Certificate

Each student brings with them unique conditions, circumstances, and challenges that influence how they learn and perform in an academic environment. This certificate offers faculty information, processes, and practices to respond to unique student needs and to design equitable learning experiences that support a diverse student population. While the focus is on online teaching modes, faculty will find impactful material to transform their teaching to be more inclusive regardless of the modality.

Certificate courses:
  • OL 1200: Student Support and Advocacy in Online Learning — February, June, August, November
  • OL 1600: Inclusive Pedagogy — (Coming Soon)
  • OL 2600: Accessible Online Course Authoring — February, April, July, October
  • OL 3000: Supporting Accommodations for Online Learners — March, May, July, September, November
  • OL 3300: Teaching the International Student — July, October 
and
  • OL 3825: Excellence in Academic Advising: Under-Resourced Students, Part I — February, August
    OR
  • OL 3850: Excellence in Academic Advising: Under-Resourced Students, Part II — April, October

Foundations of Academic Advising Certificate

This is a four-course online certificate that helps you develop foundational competency when providing academic advising for Penn State students. Understanding individual needs while building positive relationships provides support for a diverse student population. Navigating and using Penn State technological tools to use pro-active advising concepts is one of the main objectives when building an understanding of academic advising. Participants in these courses will develop skills to support student persistence, retention, and graduation from the time of matriculation to graduation.   

Certificate courses:

  • OL 3800: Excellence in Academic Advising — March, September, November
  • OL 3825: Excellence in Academic Advising: Under-Resourced Students, Part I — February, August
  • OL 3850: Excellence in Academic Advising: Under-Resources Students, Part II — April, October
  • OL 3875: Excellence in Academic Advising: Career Advising — April, November