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Online Teaching Certification

The eLearning Academic Council and the Online Faculty Advisory Committee were charged with providing recommendations to the eLearning Oversight Committee regarding what fulfills the existing, UM System-wide requirement that instructors teaching online courses be certified to do so prior to teaching online.

Am I already certified?

Please refer to the Online Teaching Certification options below for more information on what counts towards certification; you may already be certified.

Deans and Chairs have access to a Tableau dashboard that tracks certification; if you have questions, please contact your Chair.

Online Teaching Certification Options

  1. Faculty/Instructors who have completed the following historic development opportunities are considered certified, except for those who have only completed the options marked with an asterisk(* or ), which count as partial certification:
    1. MU
      1. Completed Online Teaching Foundations (OTF) from June 2015 – August 2020
      2. Designed Online from January 2020 – August 2020
      3. Start Here 101: Online Course Design Basics + Start Here 102: Best Practices in Online Instruction
      4. MU 2021 UDL Workshop + ACUE Microcredential (Active Learning Online)
    2. UMSL
      1. Online in 9 from June 2015 – August 2020
      2. DIY with a Guide*
      3. Start Here 101: Online Course Design Basics + Start Here 102: Best Practices in Online Instruction
      4. Resilient Course Design
      5. Blended in 9
    3. S&T
      1. Start Here 101: Online Course Design Basics + Start Here 102: Best Practices in Online Instruction
    4. UMKC
      1. Faculty Certification (self-paced) – Completions from June 2015 through September 2020
      2. Start Here 101: Online Course Design Basics + Start Here 102: Best Practices in Online Instruction

      * Participants will need to complete Start Here 102: Best Practices in Online Instruction to become certified.

  2. Faculty/Instructors who have successfully completed the UM System-wide Online Teaching Certification Seminar will be considered certified
  3. Faculty/Instructors who have obtained online teaching certification through national organizations, such as ACUE, the Online Learning Consortium, and Quality Matters will need to take the recertification program
    1. Participants who completed the Effective Teaching Practices or Effective Online Teaching Practices courses as part of the 2020-2021 ACUE Cohort through the UM System Academic Affairs will be considered certified
  4. For faculty/instructors with advanced degrees in online teaching:
    1. If the faculty/instructors received one of the following degrees within the last 5 years from the UM System, they will be considered certified; if their degree is older than 5 years, they will need to take the recertification program to be considered certified:
      1. MU
        • Online Educator Graduate Certificate
        • Masters in Learning Technologies and Design
        • Educational Specialist Degree in Learning Technologies and Design
        • PhD in Information Science and Learning Technologies
      2. UMSL PhD in Teaching and Learning Processes with an Emphasis in Instructional Technology
    2. If the faculty/instructors have received one of the following from outside the UM System within the last 5 years, they will be required to take the recertification program or go through a transcript audit before being considered certified; if their degree is older than 5 years, they will need to take the recertification program to be considered certified:
      1. Grad Certificate, Masters, or PhD in:
        • Educational Technology
        • Instructional Technology
        • Learning Technology
        • Instructional Design
        • Online Learning or eLearning
      2. If faculty/instructors have questions about whether or not their degree falls within these categories, they should contact the Chair of the Online Faculty Advisory Committee
      3. The Chair of the Online Faculty Advisory Committee will arrange audits with an ad-hoc group of Education faculty with representation from each of the four universities within the UM System
  5. For faculty/instructors coming into the UM System from external institutions:
    1. If they received training at another institution, they will need to take the recertification program
    2. If they have not received training at another institution, they will need to take the Online Teaching Certification Seminar
  6. For faculty/instructors who have not participated in the above options for certification, but have extensive experience teaching online (online teaching for 3 or more years), they will take a reflective self-assessment to route them into either the Online Teaching Certification Seminar or the recertification program
  7. Recertification will occur every 5 years, from the date of the last certification
    1. Faculty/instructors may sign up for/take the recertification sooner than that, and then the clock will start over at that point
    2. The recertification will be a shorter course, focused on updated tools and technologies
  8. New faculty/instructors will be given a one-semester grace period to become certified or recertified if they are assigned to teach an online class during their first semester as a faculty member/instructor and if they do not meet the certification requirements listed above

Documentation

For faculty/instructors who successfully completed any of the external trainings mentioned, above, they should submit documentation of those completions here for our records.

Implementation Timeline

  • While the Office of eLearning (OeL) will track online teaching certification, the OeL should not be enforcing the certification, as that is more properly within the purview of the Provosts.
  • The timeline to implement these recommendations should be decided by the eLearning Oversight Committee, as the Provosts and their delegates would be the entities enforcing the certification and determining the consequences of not meeting the requirements.
    • UMKC: online teaching certification is already required; the new implementation can begin immediately.
    • MU: Beginning on the first day of the Fall 2021 semester, certification for primary instructors teaching online classes will be required by the first day of the semester that those classes are being offered.
    • UMSL: Beginning on the first day of the semester, certification for primary instructors teaching online classes will be required by the first day of the Spring 2022 semester that those classes are being offered.
    • Missouri S&T: Beginning on the first day of the Fall 2021 semester, certification for primary instructors teaching online classes will be required by the first day of the semester that those classes are being offered.

Re-evaluation

These policies could be re-evaluated on a yearly basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs to become certified to teach online?

  • Only the primary instructor of an online course. Guest lecturers, TAs, graders, class managers/coordinators do not need to be certified.
  • This applies to all primary instructors, including adjunct instructors and graduate students.

What counts as an online course?

  • The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits our universities, states that an online course is any course where 75% or more of the content is delivered at a distance.
    • At MU, this includes classes lists as OL or eL for modality. Please note that self-paced classes are, by definition, not online classes (they are correspondence courses), so this policy does not apply to instructors teaching self-paced classes.

When do the primary instructors need to become certified?

  1. At MU and Missouri S&T, starting the first day of the Fall 2021 term, the primary instructors need to be certified before they teach online.
    1. If I am teaching an online course in the Fall 2020 (or Spring 2021 or Summer 2021) term, do I need to be certified before that class starts?
      • No, the requirement does not go into effect until the first day of the Fall 2021 term.
    2. If I am teaching an online course in the Fall 2021, do I need to be certified before that class starts?
      • Yes.
    3. What if I only teach online in the spring or summer terms? When do I have to be certified?
      • The requirement goes into effect Fall 2021, and remains in effect thereafter. So, if you teach online every spring, you would need to be certified before the Spring of 2022.
    4. MU: Your chair will mark you after the Fall of 2021, what happens if I teach online and am not certified?
      • Your chair will mark an “unsatisfactory” in myVita in the Teaching category.
  2. At UMKC, this is an existing requirement. Online classes will be cancelled if the instructor is not certified.
  3. At UMSL, starting the first day of the Spring 2022 term, the primary instructors need to be certified before they teach online.

Why do I have to do this?

Because the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits our universities as a whole, requires this for accreditation (see specifically C-RAC Guideline 6).

But my degree program has its own accreditation. Am I still required to do this?

Yes. The Higher Learning Commission requires it of the entire university. We are responsible both to our discipline-specific accreditation bodies and the Higher Learning Commission.

How long is this going to take?

If you are not already certified, the Online Teaching Certification Seminar course takes about 36 hours over 6 weeks to complete.

When is the Online Teaching Certification Seminar offered?

A new seminar starts every 6 – 8 weeks. Check here for start dates and to enroll/register.

How do I sign up for the Online Teaching Certification Seminar?

Select here to enroll/register.

How long does certification last?

Five years from the date of your last certification.

Do I have to go through the whole program again to be recertified after five years?

No, you will need to take the Online Teaching Recertification Program, which is a short course designed to familiarize you with the latest technologies and best practices.

    What certification program do I need to complete to become certified? How do I know if I am already certified?

    To help navigate the certification options based on your prior experiences, we recommend reviewing either the "Credit Given Towards Certification" image in the section above or this flowchart.

     

    Reviewed 2021-05-28