ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality


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The Practicum is the final course in the certificate program. The course is instructor-led, eight-weeks long, and fully-online. Practicum participants will work with a small group of peers and one MVCR instructor to develop or improve an online course.

During the Practicum, individuals demonstrate their practical knowledge of online course design and creation by incorporating appropriate roles for faculty and students, choosing technology suitable to the audience, creating and assigning effective summative and formative online assessments, demonstrating the communicative nature of online courses, and following sound online design principles. Practicum participants are expected to produce a series of written documents or presentations that describe in detail how they have defined and implemented the goals described above, and how their course has developed based on what they have learned by taking the required and elective MVCR courses.

The Practicum is intended to be flexible and participants with ideas for individualized projects are encouraged to contact the ION staff.


This course is for those who are ready to incorporate what they have learned in previous MVCR courses into final learning experiences and a final project.


Students synthesize a holistic view of online education by incorporating aspects from required and elective MVCR courses into a reflection essay, a facilitation project, and a final course project. Each student completes a Learning Contract with the instructor. Their final projects are produced and assessed based on the evaluation section of the Learning Contract.


Module 1 - Learning Contract

Module 2 - MVCR Reflection Essay

Module 3 - Facilitation Project

Module 4 - Final Project


The goal of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to utilize and synthesize knowledge and skills gained from previous MVCR courses to produce essays and projects


After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Develop and teach online courses that conform to best practices.
  2. Use their final project as a stepping stone to teaching an online course.


This course is eight weeks long, including an online orientation.


This course requires prior completion of four core MVCR courses and one elective course. (See the MVCR Catalog for a listing of the core and elective courses)


  • Complete the course orientation
  • Negotiate a Learning Contract with the instructor
  • Write an essay synthesizing knowledge gained from previous MVCR courses
  • Design and facilitate a discussion in the course conferencing program
  • Complete the final project


This course has a modular structure designed to provide students sufficient time to complete their projects and to experience or to refine conference facilitation.


This is an intensive course requiring approximately 12 - 14 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending an 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
"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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