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Chad Baldwin
Institutional Communications
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UW Offers Grad Certificate for Online Teaching

February 18, 2014 — As online learning expands educational opportunities for many people, a new University of Wyoming graduate certificate program is preparing teachers and trainers to not only incorporate technology into existing courses, but also create rich, unique experiences for their future students.

The UW Online Instruction Certificate Program, offered by the Department of Professional Studies in the UW College of Education, 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 program can stand alone as an additional job credential, says Tonia Dousay, UW assistant professor of professional studies. It also can provide the foundation for completing an M.S. in instructional design at 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, in response to increasing demand from students and educators for professional development and for marketability in seeking employment.

UW’s program, one of only about 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 pursue the UW certificate to build skills they already know they need. University and community college faculty members increasingly are called upon to offer online versions of their face-to-face courses.

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

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

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