The Teaching Online Certificate (TOC), launched at the beginning of August 2016. Already two people have achieved their Teaching Online Certificate and the others taking QM’s inaugural workshop series are well on their way. A few of the inaugural participants shared with QM some of their reasons for taking the TOC and what they are learning.
Walt Justice, QM Master Reviewer from Hillsborough Community College, had a couple of reasons for earning the Teaching Online Certificate credential from QM:
- Good way to spend grant money
- He is looking for ways to make himself more marketable in the marketplace
“I thought it was a great idea to get a certificate for myself to increase my credibility as an instructor. Also, the topics sounded very interesting and I thought it was a great value for the amount of workshops you get to take,“ said Melissa Walter, Distance Learning Specialist II, University of South Alabama.
All workshops are offered at least once per month and it is possible to complete the Teaching Online Certificate within 10 weeks. The workshops can be taken in any order, however a recommended order is provided below. QM recommends taking only one workshop at a time.
QM recommends the following sequence:
- Gauging Your Technology Skills (one week)
- Evaluating Your Course Design (two weeks)
- Exploring Your Institution’s Policies (two weeks)
- Orienting Your Online Learners (one week)
- Connecting Learning Theories to Your Teaching Strategies (two weeks)
- Creating Presence in Your Online Course (two weeks)
- Assessing Your Learners (one week)
Completion of all seven workshops results in the QM Teaching Online Certificate
Each workshop provides participants with the opportunity to curate evidence of online teaching knowledge linked from QM’s digital credentials.
Participants are planning to post their digital credentials on their LinkedIn and Facebook pages as well as including them on their CV/Resume and in their course site for learners to see. Cheri LaCounte, Instructor, Eastern New Mexico University, stated, “These digital credentials demonstrate to others that you have knowledge of online teaching based upon objective evidence from a recognized and respected third party organization who is also a leader in the field.”
Beyond earning digital credentials and a certificate, the participants in these workshops get to learn with others who are just as excited about online teaching as they are. Walt stated “I have had the pleasure of being surrounded by many great professionals in these workshops. Not only are the facilitators fantastic but the participants have been wonderful. The depth of experience brought to each workshop has been incredible. Also, having the opportunity to network with people across the country has been a real bonus to these workshops.”
Two weeks into the Teaching Online Certificate pathway and Cheri has found the others in the class to be inspiring:
"They are dedicated to the utilization of technology to share information supportive of quality teaching in the most valuable way for their learners. Although each of us in class brings a different background to our workshop goals, each of my classmates demonstrates a commitment to providing the very best learning experience for their students, contributing their expertise and their experience toward delivery of excellent online teaching."
"I’ve learned so far that I have much more to learn! My classmates in the 'Evaluating Your Technology Skills' workshop brought years of experience to the table, along with a number of outstanding resources they were more than willing to share. Especially important to me upon registering for the Teaching Online Certificate was my desire to learn more about the design function of online course delivery. Instructional design is an area in which I have never received any formal training and, as a result, it is an area that I know additional study will be of benefit to me. With only half of the 'Evaluating Your Course Design' workshop completed, I have learned a great many factors that influence the writing of quality learning outcomes as well as how to select quality teaching and learning resources for online delivery. This new learning is already contributing to improvements to my online university courses being offered this fall."
Cheri also said, "QM has put together a Teaching Online Certificate addressing the critical components of delivering top quality online teaching, and I could not be happier to count myself among the participants in the inaugural workshops. I would absolutely recommend these workshops to friends or anyone that is looking for quality professional development in the field of online learning. I have participated in many QM workshops and can say that they never fail to deliver quality online professional development.”
Melissa offered this final advice:
"I am really excited to take the 'Connecting Learning Theories to Your Teaching Strategies' workshop. It's been a long time since I've had a learning theory course and I'm looking forward to both a refresher and how to use these theories to improve my teaching. I would definitely recommend these workshops to a friend. I've had a great experience so far and I will definitely encourage my colleagues to enroll."