Virtual School Meanderings

August 9, 2011

Certificate Series: Arizona State University

Last week I mentioned that over the course of the month, and maybe spilling into next month, I would be doing a series of entries describing and discussing each of the certificates in online teaching that are focused on the K-12 environment.  The second one I wanted to discuss was the Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching For Grades K-12 at Arizona State University (more detailed information available here).

The certificate was introduced in the past year.  It consists of five three-credit hours courses that includes an electronic portfolio that is complete as a part of EDT580: Practicum in Online Teaching (i.e., the final course students take in the certificate).

EDT598: Principles and Issues in K-12 Online Learning (3 credit hours)
This course examines current issues, policies, and trends pertaining to web-based teaching and learning. Students actively explore research related to online learning. Emphasis is on issues and trends related to virtual schooling and emerging best practices for effective online instruction.

EDT598: Methods of Online Teaching (3 credit hours)
This course addresses the theory and practice for online teaching, learning, and explores a range of resources and skills in creating web-based curriculum materials. Participants evaluate a wide variety of online resources leading to the design and creation of web-based curriculum unit or set of web-based learning materials.

EDT598: Online Course Design (3 credit hours)
This course emphasizes an instructional design approach to the development of online courses. Participants develop an online course customized for use in their instructional setting including defining course goals and objectives, instructional lesson plans, activities, materials, and assessments.

Students must then select one elective from these four courses:

EDT530: Technology Integration Methods (3 credit hours)
This course focuses on methods for effectively integrating computer-based technology in teaching and learning. It includes investigation into the uses of computers and computer-based technology in the classroom, integration of technology into teaching and learning process, and using the principles of instructional design in the design of technology-rich learning environments.

EDT545: Using the Internet in Education (3 credit hours)
This course explores the Internet as an educational tool for research, inquiry-based learning, and online learning communities. It examines the potential of telecommunications to influence K-Adult education. Students will actively explore: (a) a wide variety of on-line informational, curricular, and interpersonal resources, (b) ways to successfully integrate online resources in teaching and learning, (c) current issues, policies, and trends pertaining to global electronic networking.

EDT598: Emerging Technologies (3 credit hours)
This course explores current key trends and issues concerning the impact of cutting edge technology and multimedia on K-12 student learning. Topics include the design of curriculum and instruction that are enhanced through innovative technologies, including, but not limited to, Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, social networking applications, data mashups, Google Apps, data visualization applications, and multi-touch interfaces.

EDT598: Technology as Mindtools (3 credit hours)
A mindtool is used to help students think and learn about a topic or concept. Mindtools are computer applications that, when used by learners to represent what they know, necessarily engage them in critical thinking about the content they are studying (Jonassen, 1996).This course outlines current technologies as examples of mindtools and provides students with the requisite skills and understanding of research needed to implement these tools in their instruction.

Finally, upon completion of their four courses, students must complete a practicum course and create an electronic portfolio.

EDT580: Practicum (3 credit hours)
This course focuses on applying content acquired in online teaching and methods courses to field-based experiences. Participants are given the opportunity to shadow an online teaching professional for practical, hands-on experience. Participants demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and disposition for online teaching through directed mentorship from qualified teachers and/or faculty.

The Educational Technology program at Arizona State has an existing internship partnership agreement with Pearson/Pearson Digital Learning, although I have been informed that they are also reaching out to a variety of cyber charter schools in the state (who have expressed an interest in providing spaces for the online teaching practicum). Given the newness of this certificate the first practicum offering isn’t until Spring 2012, so the Fall will be used to formalize these new partnerships.

As you’ll note, the special topics courses (i.e., EDT598) are largely focused on the K-12 environment.  Unlike many of the certificates that will be discussed, this certificate program has a very specific K-12 online learning focus  (as opposed to a K-12 track and an adult track) – as evidenced by the very name of the certificate.


  1. Professor Laura Archambault worked diligently in building the program. She actively works with all of the students and has won important iNACOL awards. The ASU program has merit. I’ve learned a great deal while in it and my district has increased my role as a result.

    Comment by Dennis Ashendorf — August 10, 2011 @ 12:42 am | Reply

  2. Dennis, this is certainly an endorsement of this program.

    Comment by mkbnl — August 10, 2011 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  3. Thank you for the write-up, Michael, and thanks for the endorsement, Dennis! Although who’s this Laura person? LOL. If others have questions regarding the program, feel free to email me

    Comment by Leanna Archambault — August 10, 2011 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  4. No problem Leanna!!! And thanks for the follow-up so people know who to contact.

    Comment by mkbnl — August 10, 2011 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  5. […] is no practicum requirement for students in this certificate (like there was in the Wayne State and Arizona State certificates).  It is also shorter than these other two certificates (three courses vs. four […]

    Pingback by Certificate Series: Boise State University « Virtual School Meanderings — August 11, 2011 @ 10:49 am | Reply

    • No criticism of BSU’s courses, but a three-unit graduate certificate makes ASU’s and WSU’s programs likely victims of Gresham’s Law ( After extolling the virtues of ASU to another teacher, I briefly mentioned BSU’s 3-course meal. He ran to BSU’s site, and it’s wasn’t to save money. A certificate is a certificate is a certificate.

      Comment by Dennis Ashendorf (@OrangeMath) — August 15, 2011 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

      • Dennis, I think you’ll find as this series progresses there are a lot of options that all offer different things. Some are run by universities, others are run by K-12 programs themselves in partnership with a university. Some lead to a certificate, some to an endorsement to one’s teacher certification, some offer both. Some are three courses, some four and some five (and it is important to pay attention to credit hours as well, as some universities have all three credit hour courses and others have two, three, and four credit hour courses). Some offer a field experience, others don’t. Some programs are specifically focused on K-12, while others simply have a track for those interested in K-12.

        I suspect each program has its advantages and disadvantages, and like most things in graduate studies the student needs to research the programs and select the one that best suits their needs. As an aside, I’ve found that this is unfortunately something that is rarely done. But that is to the detriment of the student, not the university in question.

        Comment by mkbnl — August 15, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  6. […] to the Wayne State University and Arizona State University programs, the Georgia Southern program includes a practicum or field experience component.  To […]

    Pingback by Certificate Series: Georgia Southern University « Virtual School Meanderings — August 16, 2011 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  7. […] to the Arizona State program, the UC-Irvine program has a very specific K-12 focus.  However, unlike any other program […]

    Pingback by Certificate Series: University of California-Irvine « Virtual School Meanderings — August 23, 2011 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

  8. […] Arizona State University […]

    Pingback by Certificate Series – Recap « Virtual School Meanderings — January 20, 2012 @ 8:54 am | Reply

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