Teacher Education Office

Certificate in Online Teaching Program

Online teaching and learning has become a major focus for K-12 school districts, higher education institutions and corporate training. The School of Education and Social Sciences at Robert Morris University has a graduate-level Teaching Online Certificate program specifically targeted for K-12 and Higher Education faculty who teach in online, distant or cyber education settings. 

While it is a free-standing certificate program in online teaching, it includes the option for participants to earn their M.S. in Instructional Leadership (IML) online with the completion of an additional 18 credits through the existing program.

The Teaching Online Certificate program provides a valuable credential indicating that teachers have the skills to teach students effectively in a distance education environment. Students in the program will gain experience in all aspects of online learning including development, delivery, and assessment, and will be prepared to effectively design and teach online courses using a Learning Management System in distance or cyber education settings.

The classes in the Teaching Online Certificate program are themselves all online, and can be conveniently completed while you work. These five courses can be part of the Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership (30 Credits), which also has a fully-online program available.

Course Requirements

The Teaching Online Certificate Program is a 15-credit program that includes the following five-course sequence taught in a completely online program:

Foundations of Online Teaching and Learning introduces the fundamental teaching concepts using technology-based instruction to teach distance learning and online courses. The theories, concepts, and practices introduced are equally applicable to higher education, corporate training, and learning in general. Blending these target learners, participants go on to design instructional pieces that take full advantage of their population's learning strengths and help their audience master the material and objectives being offered.

Advanced Techniques in Online Instruction builds upon the fundamental concepts and structures of online teaching and learning. This course addresses the advanced teaching and learning applications of an LMS. Participants will develop advanced pedagogies: narrated online lectures, cooperative learning, online debates, interactive assignments and activities, and both synchronous and asynchronous facilitation techniques. The course will focus on the advanced technological features of an LMS and how to facilitate online structures for effective online classroom management. Discussions will also focus on the use of blended learning techniques that enhance learning in higher education, training and development and Pre-K-12 settings.

Methods of Online Assessment focuses on the use of formative and summative assessment in the online environment. The concepts of validity, reliability and fairness will be briefly reviewed. Course content will focus on the following topics, specifically related to their use in the online environment: best practices for designing and developing performance-based assessments and selected response items/tests; development and use of scoring criteria and grade books; and use of self, peer, and instructor provided feedback. This course addresses advanced assessment options available in an LMS as well as prevention of plagiarism in the online environment using packages such as TurnItIn and SafeAssign. Basic knowledge of assessment related concepts is assumed.

Special Topics in Online Instruction provides the student with an introduction to a number of special topics related to the planning, developing, and implementing of an online course. The content of the course changes over time to meet the ever changing impact of technology. Examples of topic areas that may be addressed include current issues related to distance education, video conferencing, use of webinars, social networking as a teaching tool, use of specialized software and emerging technologies in conjunction with Learning Management Systems (LMSs), how to choose an appropriate LMS for specific environments, and blended learning concepts. The course provides opportunities for students to engage in discussion, research current issues related to distance education, and apply new technologies & software.

Online Instruction Practicum serves as a culminating activity for the RMU certificate in Online Instruction. Using the skills and knowledge developed throughout the program, students will develop and create an online course for use in their own area of expertise. Student’s needs, interests and work setting will determine the venue for the online course of study. Depending upon work settings, students can choose to develop an online course in higher education, Pre-K to 12 or in a corporate training and development setting.

These five courses can also be a part of the Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership (30 Credits)

For More Information, Contact:

Susan Campbell

RMU Graduate Admissions

Office of Teacher Education
Nicholson Center, 4th Floor
6001 University Blvd.
Moon Township, PA 15108
412-397-6027 phone
412-397-6044 fax