Certification Programs for Online Instructors

Get information about certificate programs for online instructors. Find out about the kinds of programs available as well as the classes typically offered in them. Schools offering Instructional Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Online Instructor Certificate Program?

The majority of online instructor programs are certificate programs, not certification programs. Completing a certificate means you have finished all of the prescribed courses and can demonstrate your knowledge in this area. Currently, there is no third-party organization that grants certification to online instructors - so an online instructor certificate can give current faculty the required skills and knowledge to begin teaching online immediately.

DefinitionCertificate: all courses finished and knowledge demonstrated
LearningCopyright infringement issues, web-based communications, graphic design techniques
Certified teacherCan teach online or offline
Not certified teacherCan only teach online
Online or offlineMost programs offered online
Median Salary (2018)$78,470 (Postsecondary Teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% growth (Postsecondary Teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Learn in an Online Instructor Certificate Program?

You will learn about the specific challenges of teaching a web-based class. For example, most programs cover copyright infringement issues that can occur not just with instructor materials but also with student assignments. You might learn how to incorporate web-based communications - like e-mail, online chats or an industry-specific tool like Blackboard - into your teaching in order to effectively interact with students.

Some programs include web-specific training that isn't necessarily related to teaching but might help you create successful online presentations, like graphic design techniques or web page design. You may also cover topics like blogging or podcasts, and understand how these forms of communication can enhance the online teaching and learning experience.

If I'm Already a Certified Teacher, Should I Earn this Certificate?

Teaching in the online environment presents unique challenges for instructors. You will learn classroom management techniques specific to virtual classrooms, like how to lead a discussion during an online class.

Because the educational opportunities available on the Internet have increased, some states now require those who teach online classes to have a minimum amount of professional development education in online instruction. Because this is a relatively new area, regulations may vary widely from state to state. You may want to check with the Department of Education in your state to see what requirements may apply.

Can I Complete this Certificate if I'm Not Already a Teacher?

Just because you haven't earned teacher certification doesn't mean you can't become an online instructor. For example, if you are a professional who teaches a continuing education or adult education class, you may benefit from completing a certificate program. Such a program gives you the tools to create an effective online course and the skills to help your students successfully complete your class. Also, by offering your class online, you may find that enrollment increases.

However, completing this type of certificate does not qualify you to work as a teacher in a traditional classroom because it does not meet requirements for licensure as a teacher. You must already have or go on to earn traditional teaching certification in order to work as a teacher offline.

Is it Available Online?

Almost all online instructor certificate programs are offered - appropriately enough - online. This allows aspiring online instructors to experience web-based courses from the student's perspective and better understand the challenges of e-learning. Most programs allow students to work at their own pace and access coursework at any time via an Internet portal.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Pacific Oaks College

    Pacific Oaks College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Pacific Oaks College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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