ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Practicum for Online Learning Administrators

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This instructor-led course provides a capstone, summary experience for the individual who leads, directs, or otherwise supports an online learning program. The course applies previously covered material in the program and adds manager/executive-level activities to complete the online learning administrator certification.


This course is for individuals who are currently or potentially positioned to assume direct leadership or support for a(n) institutional/corporate distance (online) learning program. The program is designed to provide professional development experience and opportunities for post-baccalaureate level participants.


  • Administrative budgeting of online learning programs
  • The supervision of online professionals, administrative support personal, and potentially online faculty
  • Project Management principles
  • Essentials of Marketing for online programs


-under development-


The ultimate goal of the course, as a capstone of the COLA program, is to prepare the participant with knowledge and skills required to be an effective online learning administrator


The successful participant will have demonstrated competence in

  1. budget planning/execution in online program administration
  2. principles in supervision of civil service and/or academic personnel
  3. project management activities pursuant to creating and launching a successful distance learning program
  4. crafting marketing plans and activities to establish and support an institutional online learning program.


    This is an 8-week, online course. The start and end dates are specified in the schedule. Access to the course will be maintained for approximately 18 months.


    Previous completion of AS, QA, IS, and SS courses offered by ION in the MVCR series.


    • 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 discussion questions related to the topics under discussion.
    • Write a summary / reflection on the key items covered each week and how they apply to you.
    • Log onto the course 3 times per week.
    • Complete all required postings.


    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 discussion, 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 several hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending the individual's input, needs, and personal study habits. Students should log into 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.


    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
"I'm learning so much from this experience. I started to type "class" there instead of experience, but it has really been a learning experience and I'm elevating it to that status in my choice of words."     

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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