ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Technology Tools for Online Learning

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This instructor-led, eight-week, fully-online course explores some of the technology tools used to build and deliver online courses. The main emphasis of this course will be to introduce students to issues concerning the use of technology and the many tools that are available. The economical, technological, and pedagogical pros and cons of each technology will be discussed. Participants will learn how to choose what technologies to integrate into their online course based on sound pedagogical decisions.


This course is for faculty and staff who are interested in exploring the use of technology tools in education.


  • Issues Surrounding the Use and Integration of Technology in Education
  • Social Media
  • Communication Tools
  • Ready-made content
  • Audio, video and screencast production
  • Emerging trends


Module 1 - The Challenges and Benefits of Technology in Education

Module 2 - Social Media

Module 3 - Asynchronous Communication

Module 4 - Synchronous Communication

Module 5 - Finding Ready-Made Content

Module 6 - Creating Your Own Content

Module 7 - Emerging Trends

Module 8 - Planning for Your Future


  • Discuss some issues surrounding the use of technology in courses and curricula.
  • Introduce faculty to a wide variety of technology tools.
  • Examine tools and explore how they enhance or detract from educational objectives.
  • Provide faculty with criteria with which to judge new tools as they emerge.
  • Discuss technology tools from the student's perspective.
  • Discuss the support of technology tools.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to select and implement appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning, demonstrating and articulating the relationship between the tool and pedagogy and the features of the tool necessary to make its use successful.


The course is eight weeks in length and requires an online orientation.


You may take this course without any course prerequisites.


  • Complete the online course orientation prior to the start of the course.
  • Read the instructor's lesson introductions and assigned readings from the Web.
  • Engage in positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning the course subject matter.
  • Answer discussion questions and present reasoning behind answers to hypothetical questions given in class.
  • Answer weekly discussion questions related to the technology tool under discussion.
  • Write a summary / reflective discourse of the key items covered each week and how they apply to you.
  • Complete individual projects to experience and analyze tools..
  • Log onto the course 3 times per week.
  • Complete all required postings.
  • Complete a final project.


The course has a modular structure consisting of somewhat separate units. Each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build on previous information. The course pedagogy is based on collaborative learning and group participation. Content in the form of active asynchronous and synchronous chat participation, direct email, postings of materials, Web resources, and instructor notes are presented. Content in the form of student participation in discussion forums and comments on the ideas and work of others will also be present. Links to outside sources are required through which students will acquire more in depth information on some topics.


This is an intensive course requiring about 8-10 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending the individual's input, needs, and personal study habits. Students are required to log on to the course a minimum of 3 times a week.

Credit Options

Continuing Education Credit (CEU Credit)
8 Continuing education units (CEU credit) are available for this course.

Graduate or Undergraduate Academic Credit
This course can also be taken for academic graduate credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield. To earn academic credit, you must first enroll as a non-degree or as a degree student through UIS. Visit the How to Enroll page for more information.


Taking a course for CEUs:
Registration for this course is open to the general public, but there is a registration fee for participants who are not employees of the University of Illinois. 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. SA1051).

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
"Experiencing the Virtual Classroom offered invaluable insights into structuring my own online course."     

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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