ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Online Learning: Essentials

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The Online Learning: Essentials course is designed to present an introductory experience for the new or prospective online teacher. The course is not an abbreviated form of the MVCR Online Learning: Overview course and does not replace it in the Master Online Teacher certificate program. The course was created to address the expressed desire of University and partner faculty development programs to provide a low-cost, low-threshold, lower-demand learning opportunity. The course applies a modern course management system in an asynchronous manner to cover essential topics of primary interest to online teachers.


Current or potential online teachers; support professionals; administrators; secondary and tertiary (higher) education professionals


Content Delivery


Week One - Content Delivery

  • Demonstration of different content delivery models,
  • Discussion of delivery models
  • Drawing conclusions about delivery approaches

Week Two - Interaction

  • Reading assignment regarding alternatives for interaction
  • Student - Facilitator Interaction
  • Student - Content Interaction
  • Student - Student Interaction
  • Drawing conclusions about interaction approaches

Week Three - Assessment

  • Reading assignment regarding avoidance of online cheating
  • Quizzing and testing discussion
  • Evaluating Online courses discussion
  • Drawing conclusions about assessment approaches


  1. Provide context and perspective newcomers to online teaching/learning.
  2. Familiarize participants with the expectations and requirements of online learning.
  3. Demonstrate basic features of online courses


By the completion of this course, participants will

  1. have explored and experienced several different forms of alternative content delivery in online learning
  2. be familiar with a dominant form of within class interaction - the discussion forum
  3. have examined and discussed various forms of assignments and course learning assessment techniques


3 weeks (21 days)




Enrollees are expected to log in at least twice per week and spend time reading and responding to discussion topics. Items of interest are posted to the MVCR.ORG system and individuals should read and reply to the topics and classmate posts. Use the discussion forums and course messaging systems to communicate. Further, individuals may apply personal email messaging and telephone to enhance communication.


The course is conducted entirely online in an asynchronous mode.


We subscribe to the approach that the more you put into the course, the more you get out. Given that, we will expect participants to spend 2-5 hours per week.

Credit Options

The course is available only for continuing education units (CEUs).


A fee is incurred for anyone enrolled in an Advanced Online Seminar, although there is a discount for ION members. (Only Diamond level ION partners are exempt.) The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. TM1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
"It's good to communicate with faculty in different disciplines and gain their insights."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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