Graduate certificate programs that are dedicated to online learning help educators expand their knowledge base and learn how to effectively teach in a distance-learning environment. Some of these programs may be focused on online learning in general, but others can be geared specifically towards online instruction for adult learners. After completing these graduate certificate programs, educators should be able to design and deliver their courses to students as well as assess how well the material is being absorbed.
Typical Courses in Graduate Certificate Programs in Online Teaching
Graduate certificate programs in online teaching can have between nine and 20 credit hours of course material, and some of these courses can count towards a master's degree program in a similar area. A number of these graduate certificate programs are available in a completely online learning format.
Courses like these are usually introductory in nature and teach students about the basics of teaching in an online environment. Students may learn about the differences between teaching in synchronous and asynchronous formats. They may also learn about the history of online learning as well as the available teaching methodologies.
These are the types of courses that explore how educators can assess the effectiveness of their teaching programs as well as their students' performance. Topics of discussion can include the use of self-examinations, surveys and digital tools. In some cases, students may be asked to create an assessment strategy based on the theoretical concepts they were taught.
When it comes to online learning, courses that deal with instructional design usually teach students the skills needed to use online learning management systems and other software to create an online course. These courses typically incorporate the use of research-based teaching and curriculum design principles when creating courses as well. Students may also need to complete a project that includes their own instructional content.
Adult Learning and Technology
These courses focus on how technology can be used to enhance adults' learning experience. These courses may explore different teaching techniques in addition to educational technologies. A few of the topics that may be covered include modern developments in computer software, multimedia applications and computing on a mobile device.
Evaluating Online Learning Trends
Courses that delve into online learning trends usually teach students how to evaluate emerging technologies, such as open education resources and social media. Some of the topics that may be covered include the integration of this technology into online classrooms and the use of the internet as an educational tool. In these courses, students may learn how to use performance data to make their decisions.
General Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificate Programs in Online Teaching
To gain admission to graduate certificate programs in online teaching, applicants will need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. While the programs are usually meant for educators, a prospective student's degree does not always have to be in education in order to be considered. However, some programs may have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5 or higher. When applying to these graduate certificate programs, prospective students may also need to submit school transcripts, letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
Graduate certificate programs in online teaching can have up to 20 credits and may be available online. Some of the course topics students can expect to see include instructional design, adult learning and online assessment.