During the 2006-07 academic year, the Online Instructor Certification Program was launched as a pilot project designed to formally recognize faculty members' varying levels of skill, knowledge, and experience in the delivery of web-mediated instruction. Five levels of certification were established and are described below.
The Program is for faculty members who wish to demonstrate and, through a peer review process, receive certification of specific skills, knowledge, and experience that they possess relative to online teaching and learning; it is not a training program that faculty follow to obtain certification. That said, faculty members' skills, knowledge, and experience can grow through their participation in the many workshops, learning communities, and other development activities provided by, for example, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
This step-wise approach provides a starting point for those considering engaging in any level of online tool use, as well as an increasing recognition for the attainment of greater knowledge and skill in preparation for the three distinct modes of online instructional delivery: web-enhanced, blended, or fully online.
Applications will be accepted at any time during the academic year and will be reviewed on a continuous basis. The Review Committee will be comprised of members of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and at least two faculty members. A typical review requires one month, although the length of time may vary with the number, completeness, and nature (i.e., level being sought) of applications received. Certification will be awarded upon the successful review of the application, and notification of the applicant. A formal recognition of applicants' certification will also occur annually at the faculty awards event. If the application submission date does not allow sufficient time to complete the review to meet the faculty awards event invitation and program deadlines for the current year, those successful applicants will be formally recognized at the next awards event.
Verification of applicants' skills, knowledge, and experience for each level can be assessed through a combination of deliverable products, portfolio, and web course evaluations. A rubric for Levels 1-4 will assist faculty members in documenting their progress toward the appropriate levels of recognition.
Finally, Professional Development Incentive awards are currently given to successful applicants, beginning at Level 2 certification.