ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Administrator of Online Learning Seminar

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This course is about perspectives and choices that the online administrator must keep close at hand while executing the duties of an online learning program manager, adviser, advocate, champion, and primary support professional. US President Harry S. Truman famously displayed a sign on his desk that reads "The BUCK STOPS here!" For many of you (us), questions and decisions regarding what to do with online program issues are made at your desk, even if they require approval higher up the administrative chain. We are a new generation of educational institution managers or directors who need to "get it" even when few others do. We may have risen from the ranks of professional service within the college or university, or we may be crossing over from a purely faculty role. Where we are going is still an uncertain territory where the landscape keeps changing. Thus, familiarity and comfort with institutional change are becoming key components of the online learning administrator's tool set.


Participants most likely to benefit from this seminar are individuals who are pursuing the Certified Online Learning Administrator program certificate. The ideal case will be professionals who are in the preparation process for assuming the duties of directing or managing an online learning program at an institution of higher learning. Individuals who are already in that position may also benefit by acquiring additional perspectives and details not yet encountered and by building on ones network of colleagues in the field who share your goals, pains, and successes at their own institutions.


Online learning program components and success requirements; contrasts with other, traditional learning environments; change management plans and implementation details.


  1. Comparing and Contrasting - The nature of online learning vs. face to face learning for students, teachers, and institutions is explored.
  2. Defining and surveying a successful online learning program - What are the dimensions of success and what does it take to get there?
  3. Preparing a time line for development of an online course


  1. Provide an introduction and orientation to a "1, 000 foot view"of online learning administration;
  2. Satisfy a requirement of the Certified Online Learning Administrator (COLA) program by the Illinois Online Network.


  • Outline the most essential components of an online learning program;
  • Document a change process for your institution/organization consistent with a mainstream change management model;
  • Describe fundamental elements of course management systems and their alternatives;
  • Compare and contrast the nature of online learning vs. face to face learning for students, teachers, and institutions;
  • Apply fundamental project management principles in preparing a time line for development of an online course or program.


4 weeks



  • Log into the course a minimum of three times a week to stay active and involved.
  • Read the assigned chapters in the text and any additional web-based materials.
  • Answer discussion questions related to the assigned Web articles or accomplish assigned tasks within groups.
  • Engage in positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning the course subject matter.
  • Serve as an active team member in the completion of a group task.


Completely online in the environment


Expect to spend 3-8 hours/week during this seminar. Depending on your experience and skill levels, this estimate will vary.

Credit Options

The course is only available for continuing education units.


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
"A large part of what has me really jazzed about this online course we're doing is that it has me rethinking HOW I teach in both f2f and online settings."     

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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