Experienced teachers who want to prepare to be online instructors can enroll in a certificate program in distance learning or distance education. Learn more about program requirements and career information for online instructors.
Distance Learning Programs and Requirements
Distance learning certificate programs are often aimed at administrators, instructors, managers and trainers who want to learn more about methodologies and theories of online learning. Offered as online instruction by many colleges, these programs usually take about six months to complete.
Students enrolled in distance learning education programs will learn hands-on applications as well as theoretical approaches to distance education. Students gain practical experience in areas such as Web design, video-conferencing, and online bulletin boards, and acquire an understanding of the benefits and challenges of distance learning. Courses may include:
- Teaching/learning at a distance
- Distance learning technology
- Design for online learning
- Online learning evaluation
- Online facilitation
For online programs, students will also need access to a computer. Some programs may have technical requirements, such as a specific download speed or Web browser.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Distance learning designers and educators may find employment in areas such as:
- Customer education
- Employee training
- Correspondence instruction
Today, many two-year postsecondary institutions prefer that their instructors have a background in distance education. Estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that 27% of undergraduates and 32% of post-baccalaureate students participated in distance learning courses in 2014.
Salaries for distance learning instructors vary depending on the subject area and the industry where instruction is required. For example, the BLS stated that corporate training and development specialists earned a median annual salary of $59,020 as of May 2016.
A distance learning certificate can prepare aspiring online instructors to expand their teaching careers into the field of web-based learning. These programs provide an overview of the teaching methods and technologies utilized in online educational courses.