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2014 News | College of Education

New UW Online Instruction Certificate Program prepares instructors for success in e-learning environments

As online learning expands educational opportunities for individuals across the lifespan, a new University of Wyoming graduate certificate program is preparing teachers and trainers to not only incorporate technology into existing courses but create rich, unique experiences for their future students.

The UW Online instruction Certificate Program, offered by the College of Education Department of Professional Studies, is open nationally to anyone who holds a bachelor's degree. Program participants complete four courses, offered online through the UW Outreach School:

  • ITEC 5030: Introduction to Online Teaching
  • ITEC 5020: Technology and Distance Education
  • ITEC 5160: Introduction to Instructional Design (with an emphasis on online learning environments) and
  • ITEC 5510: Instructional Telecommunications

The post-baccalaureate, credit-bearing program can stand alone as an additional job credential, according to Tonia Dousay, UW assistant professor of professional studies. It also can provide the foundation for completing an M.S. in instructional design from UW. Certificate program completers are graduate admission, two courses, and a capstone project away from a master 's degree, she says. Current graduate students also may apply the four courses to earn a certification in addition to their M.S.

UW instructional technology faculty members Doris Bolliger and Craig Shepherd designed and launched the program three years ago, in response to increasing demand from students and educators for professional development and for marketability in seeking employment.

UW's program, currently one of only approximately six university-based online teaching certification options, is designed to accommodate educators from a variety of settings, Dousay says. For example, as K-12 online programs grow from niche to mainstream options, so does the need for educators prepared to engage students effectively in that setting. Students from industry are drawn to the program for a chance to expand training delivery options. Online learning already is a core component of military professional development delivery, and trainers from that sector come to the UW certificate to build skills they already know they need. University and community college faculty increasingly are called upon to offer online versions of their face to face courses.

Whatever their specific teaching context, Dousay says, participants in the Online Instruction Certificate Program are able to customize learning to fit individual professional and career development needs.

For more information on the UW Online Instruction Teaching Program, visit the program site at or call the UW Department of Professional Studies at (307)766-2366.

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