ION | Illinois Online Network

Master Online Teacher Certificate

The Master Online Teacher (MOT) certificate

The MOT is a comprehensive faculty development program utilizing the MVCR series. This program certifies participants who achieve a demonstrated knowledge related to online course design, online instruction, and other issues related to online teaching and learning. These competencies make a master online teacher.

Who Should Enroll in this Program

The Master Online Teacher certificate is designed for faculty, administrators, and staff members interested in making online teaching an important part of their academic careers, or who wish to take a leadership role in online learning at their institutions. The breadth of certificate awardees continually grows

Benefits of the Program

Many faculty teaching online courses today have no experience or formal training in online instruction, and their courses do not exploit the strengths of the online medium. Individuals who complete the certificate program understand the capabilities of current technologies for online teaching and learning, and as a result, are able to design pedagogically sound and highly engaging online content, learning activities, and student assessments.

Certificate Requirements

In order to earn the Master Online Teaching certificate, a student must successfully complete:

  1. Three core courses
  2. One of the core choice courses,

  3. One elective course, and
  4. The MOT practicum.

Take all courses before the Practicum, although the elective course may be taken concurrently. All courses in the Master Online Teacher certificate are 8-week courses. No 4-week Advanced Online Seminars fulfil MOT requirements.

The core courses are:

  • Online Learning: An Overview
  • Instructional Design for Online Course Development
  • Student Assessment in Online Courses
  • The Core Choice

    A) Universal Design Principles for Online Learning OR
    B) Encouraging Communication in Online Courses OR
    C) Technology Tools for Online Learning
    (One of these courses must be taken. If a second from this group is completed, the second one will count as the elective.)
  • Practicum

Elective courses include:

  • Blended –Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues for Online Course Development
  • Encouraging Communication in Online Courses Technology OR
    Technology Tools for Online Learning OR
    Universal Design Principles for Online Learning (see the core above)
  • Multimedia Principles for Online Educators
  • Global eLearning
  • Librarians and Instructors Collaborating in Online Learning
  • Web Design Principles for Online Educators
  • Advanced Blended/Hybrid Learning Design and Practice
  • Sims, Labs, and Virtual Reality in Online Learning

Although the courses can be taken independently and in any order, we strongly recommend taking Overview as the first course in the series. The order of the courses in the list above is an example of a logical sequence for a faculty member new to teaching with technology, but participants may choose a different order depending on their entry-level skills.

In order to earn the certificate, participants must have completed the required course work and demonstrated knowledge in the following areas related to online teaching and learning:

  • Roles of faculty in online courses
  • Roles of students in online courses
  • Communications in online courses
  • Collaborative nature of online courses
  • Available technologies for delivering online courses
  • Methods of assessment for online courses
  • Learning outcomes in online courses
  • Learning activities in online courses
  • Evaluation of online courses
  • The projects required to complete each course provide an electronic portfolio that demonstrates knowledge in the areas identified as most important to quality online teaching.

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The Practicum

The Practicum is the final course in the certificate program. 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 MVCR staff.

Receiving the Master Online Teacher certificate

After successfully completing the six MVCR courses, participants will receive a certificate from the Illinois Online Network, a national leader in online education, indicating that they are qualified as a Master Online Teacher. To earn the certificate, participants must successfully complete four core courses, an elective course, and the practicum. Even if you take all of the MOT MVCR classes for academic credit through UIS, the MOT is still a non-credit certificate.

Course Registration Fees

Your course fee depends on several factors. Those on the faculty or staff of ION member institutions (community colleges in Illinois, the University of Illinois, or any of the Global ION members) receive substantial discounts toward their course fees.

If you plan to pursue the entire Master Online Teacher certificate, contact ION ( for information about prepaying your full MOT registration fees.

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