Virtual School Meanderings

August 30, 2011

Certificate Series: University of Wisconsin-Stout

Continuing the Certificate Series, where I have been describing and discussing each of the certificates in online teaching that are focused on the K-12 environment. The sixth one I wanted to discuss was the E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

In somewhat a unique fashion, the Stout program does not have a specific K-12 focus but does contain a fair amount of K-12 content (as opposed to other certificates that have strict K-12 focus or a K-12 track).  Students can apply the credits earned as a part of their Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate towards a Master’s of Science degree.

The program itself contains five courses (including the practicum course):

EDUC 760: E-Learning for Educators (3 credit hours)
Historical background and current trends in online learning. Concepts and foundations of evidence-based practices for successful teaching online. E-Learning theory, principles, learning management systems, and web-based technology tools.

EDUC 762: Assessment in E-Learning (3 credit hours)
Performance-based assessment, summative and formative feedback methods to assess student learning in the online classroom. Explore how to use voice and video technology options to assist with time saving grading procedures while increasing the amount of feedback, prevention of plagiarism in the digital environment, strategies for assessing online discussion postings and replies, using blogs and wikis as evidence of learning, evaluating group assignments in an online setting, polling and opinion gathering via laptop, iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, and smartphones, and evaluating eportfolios. Become familiar with assessment strategies that could make or break your online course.

EDUC 763: Instructional Design for E-Learning (3 credit hours)
Learn how to create online courses that work efficiently. By understanding how people learn and how to design the experience conceptually and aesthetically, you can shape an effective and engaging learning experience. The course also addresses hybrid learning environments, synchronous and asynchronous concerns, the use of a variety of media such as video and audio along with accessibility concerns, and effective evaluation of online course design.

EDUC 761 – Creating Collaborative Communities in E-Learning (3 credit hours)
Concepts, methods and research for creating and facilitating a collaborative online community of practice. This course is about facilitating and building an e-learning community and is designed for educators, technical college and community college instructors, university instructors, curriculum consultants, and corporate trainers who want to become highly qualified in facilitating online learning in hybrid or fully online courses. Improve your time/workload management techniques including organization of email, class environment and time-saving strategies for working with difficult students in the online classroom. Course activities include hands-on practice using asynchronous communication technologies. You will actively facilitate and explore questioning skills, conflict resolution, netiquette, and collaborative learning through problem solving scenarios, simulations, and online discussions. You will investigate time management strategies and pitfalls to avoid when designing and facilitating online class activities and explore various assessment tools to analyze and evaluate student participation in online discussions.

EDUC 764: E-Learning Practicum (3 credit hours)
Practicum in teaching online with a cooperating online instructor. Application of online pedagogy and technology evaluated through observation, discussion and reflections.

This course culminates your preparation as an e-learning professional. You will finalize your professional e-portfolio as a career building demonstration of your online teaching skills and abilities. During the practicum you will teach online with a cooperating instructor gaining valuable real world online teaching experience. A customized internship is available for those already teaching online. Successful completion of the practicum earns the E-Learning Certificate.

There is no information on the website about what K-12 online learning organizations (or even if there are specific K-12 online learning programs) that students can complete their practicum through.

I know that one of the instructors in this program is an active member of iNACOL and a reader of this blog, so I’m sure if you have questions you can leave them in the comments section and he’ll respond.


  1. Michael, Thanks for letting your readers know about our program.

    I am the advisor for the E–Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate program. I also wrote and teach two of our 5 classes, E-Learning for Educators and the E-Learning Practicum. Our graduate classes are offered by the University of Wisconsin Stout, School of Education. (We are not an extension program.)

    I’m delighted to be able to talk with those interested in K-12 Virtual Education. I was a public school teacher for 25 years before I went fully online. Working online has been a journey of discovery and a constant reminder of the joys of being a lifetime learner.

    As you mention we do mix together all kinds of educators in our classes. A typical course will include K-12 classroom teachers, some K-12 online teachers and a good number of community college and university instructors. We also see health educators and some corporate trainers. Folks join us from around the country and the world. It’s an eclectic mix of people who all share an interest in teaching online. Our goal is to help people become experienced professional online teachers as a way to expand and grow their careers.

    To accommodate everyone’s interests our resource materials are highly differentiated. K-12 teachers have the option of investigating the great resources from iNacol. They are encouraged to build useful quizzes and surveys and to craft discussion prompts as they practice facilitation skills. The topics for all projects are learner selected. We emphasize a practical hands on approach where participants can use what they learn and make right away. The great thing is to see a strong community of practice develop between all kinds of educators. Everyone is richer for it.

    When it comes to the E-Learning Practicum, I customize each student’s experience. I have managed some placements with K-12 Virtual Schools. More often, K-12 teachers take one of two options. Both involve teaching with one of our cooperating online teachers in a graduate course offered by UW-Stout.

    Interns can either teach in one of the E-Learning classes they completed as a student, or in one of our online professional development courses listed here:

    The practicum gives everyone in our program a real online teaching experience so they can understand what life is like on the other side of the virtual desk.

    Practicum participants also complete an online portfolio started in the first course. I’ve found that an e-portfolio is invaluable for career growth.

    I’m always happy to talk with people about e-learning and online teaching. Than you for your hard work at helping improve the quality of online instruction.


    Dennis O’Connor
    Program Advisor
    E-Learning & Online Teaching
    School of Education
    Online Professional Development
    University of Wisconsin-Stout
    Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University
    331-684-8566 (Mid West)
    530-318-1145 (West Coast Cell)
    Skype: wiredinstructor2

    Comment by Dennis OConnor — August 30, 2011 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  2. Dennis, thanks for the comment (and the correction – see the edited text in red from the original entry).

    Comment by mkbnl — August 30, 2011 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  3. I just completed this certificate from UW stout. Dennis was my advisor and was extremely attentive and helpful in the last course. I correlated Wisconsin’s Standards for online teaching with projects from these five classes into an e-portfolio. This e-portfolio was started in the first class and finished in the last class. I was pleasantly surprised at how the skills taught at Stout were consistent with what Wisconsin requires. I feel well prepared to teach online.

    Comment by Pamela Gustafson — August 30, 2011 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  4. Pamela, thanks for the comment. I’m sure the samples of your work from the program will be helpful for those who may be interested in this program.

    Comment by mkbnl — August 30, 2011 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  5. […] Certificate Series: University of Wisconsin-Stout […]

    Pingback by Statistics for August 2011 « Virtual School Meanderings — August 31, 2011 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  6. […] University of Wisconsin-Stout […]

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

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