Before teaching an online course, instructors should ask themselves the following
- Am I comfortable using basic software programs like MS Word and PowerPoint?
- Am I comfortable using the internet, including uploading/downloading files and using
basic email functions?
- Am I willing to check my CSU email every day?
- Will I be able to make my online instruction at least as rigorous, challenging, and engaging as my face-to-face courses?
- Am I willing to think differently and adapt to new modes of instruction, activities,
assignments, and assessment?
- Am I willing to stay current with the latest technologies?
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then you should consider teaching
online. If you would like to proceed, then your next step will be to complete the
Online Certification Training course (see below).
What is Online Certification Training (OCT)?
OCT is the university's eight-week training program that prepares faculty to teach
online. It helps instructors understand what online learning is, how to prepare their
course content for an online environment, and what the best practices are for online
course development and teaching. It also explores such areas as best practices, instructional
design, ADA web accessibility guidelines, and internet copyright and fair use. OCT
is meant to provide an introductory overview of these topics, and to prepare faculty
to meet the requirements of the Illinois Online Network Quality Online Course Initiative (QOCI) rubric that is used by CSU'sDistance Education Committeeto review online courses.
OCT was developed to provide a standardized approach to preparing faculty to teach
in an online environment as recommended in Appendix G of the CSU Contract. CSU faculty
should be prepared to meet the needs of its students; online learning is most effective
when delivered by teachers experienced in their subject matter and fluent in necessary
technologies. The best way to maintain the connection between online education and
the values of traditional education is by ensuring that online learning is facilitated
by teachers fully qualified and interested in teaching in the online environment.
In accordance with Appendix G of the CSU Contract (2010-2015), all faculty members
who wish to teach online must first complete OCT. Permission to teach online must
also be obtained from one's respective dean and department chair.
Faculty who have completed a non-CSU training course can submit documentation that
will be verified from the issuing institution to ensure that similar objectives as
those for OCT have been met.
When will OCT be offered?
New sections of OCT will begin on the Monday closest to the 1st and 15th of every
other month. Starting dates through January 2015 are as follows:
- February 17, 2014
- March 31, 2014
- May 12, 2014
- June 30, 2014
- August 18, 2014
- September 29, 2014
- November 17, 2014
- January 5, 2015
To sign up for OCT, contact our offices at 773-995-2960 or email@example.com. Also, announcements will be made via CSU email in the weeks leading up to each new section with a link to an online registration
What are the Learning Objectives of OCT?
Unit I: What is Online Teaching?
- Know and understand the meaning of online learning
- Know and understand the benefits of teaching online
- Know and understand the advantages of learning online
- Know and understand the challenges of teaching online
- Know and understand Chickering and Gamson's Seven Principles for Good Practice in
Unit II: Best Practices
- Provide examples of well-designed course pages, rubrics, lessons, and assignments
that exemplify superior design of online courses
Unit III: Copyright, Fair Use, and the TEACH Act
- Demonstrate an understanding of how copyright, fair use, and the TEACH Act affect
course creation in online learning
Unit IV: ADA Web Accessibility
- Explore and understand the basic principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Unit V: Instructional Design Basics
- Be able to effectively connect learning objectives, activities, and assessments in
an online setting
Unit VI: Building Course Content
- Demonstrate an understanding of how to create a comprehensive online learning experience
For those who have successfully passed OCT, there is the option to continue online
training with Online Teaching Excellence: Pedagogy and Andragogy.
Having gained a solid grounding in the basics of online learning, this course helps
its participants to more rigorously implement best practices in instructor-guided
learning (pedagogy), as well as adult, self-directed learning (andragogy). Unlike
OCT, successful completion of this course is not required to teach online at CSU,
however, it is strongly recommended for anyone who wishes to enhance his or her online
To complete this course, you must already have built an online course and still have
access to it.
Faculty support for online learning is provided by the CTRE, which offers a variety
of opportunities, such as:
The CTRE hosts in-person and online training sessions for using Moodle, such as basic
navigation skills, setting up a grade book, and using Collaborate. Workshops are held
regularly each semester.
Both faculty and students are welcome to make an appointment with CTRE staff to receive
support during regularly scheduled open hours in LIB 318. If you would like to make
an appointment, click the button below.
All CSU instructors are automatically signed up for this "course" in Moodle, whether
they teach online or not. It is filled with helpful resources and guides on online
learning, as well as information about upcoming workshops and OCT.