Online Teaching Certification: How to Excel in the Digital Age

online teaching certificationNow that more and more students are going online to earn degrees, take classes, or obtain professional certifications, the demand for an online teaching certification is increasing as well.  Only a few years ago the idea of taking a class online may have appeared a bit disconnected, but as technology continues to change many areas of our daily life, it is also changing how students, teachers, and educators approach learning.

There has never been a better time to become an online instructor, and an online teaching certification will give you the necessary tools you need to reach students from all over the world and from all walks of life.  You can even begin teaching online here, at, where you can experience the benefits of teaching online by utilizing some of Udemy’s online teaching tools.  Interested in getting an online teaching certification?  Read on to find out where you can obtain your certification, how to teach online, and the benefits online teaching has to offer.

Where To Earn an Online Teaching Certification

There are plenty of places both online and not where you can earn an online teaching certification.  Of course, if you are looking to teach online, looking for a certification program online might be a good place to start.  Here are some accredited programs that you can look into:

  • Walden University
  • Northcentral University
  • Kaplan University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Liberty University Online
  • Capella University
  • USC Rossier
  • Western Governors University
  • American InterContinental University
  • Concordia University
  • UCSD
  • University of the Southwest

What to Expect

For an example of an online teaching certification program, let’s take a look at what UCSD’s online teaching certification program has to offer and the courses that you will need to take.

The UCSD certification program requires teaching hopefuls to take six courses:

  1. Introduction to Online Learning
  2. Foundations of Curriculum Design and Evaluation
  3. Instructional Technology Tools
  4. Enhancing Your Online Course with Multimedia
  5. Advanced Curriculum Design for the Online Classroom
  6. Teaching Online Practicum

Some of the guidelines for the teaching certification program are as follows:

  • Students must begin with “Introduction to Online Learning” course and follow with “Foundations of Curriculum Design and Evaluation.”  This sequence is required because the two courses will serve to set the foundation for the remaining classes in the online teaching certification program.
  • New applicants who choose to begin the program with any of the other courses should be aware of the required prerequisites.
  • You must complete all the required and elective coursework within five years of beginning your certification program.  However, most students will finish their certificate program within one year.

Enrolling in an online teaching certification program online has its benefits.  You will be able to:

  • Acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to transition from an off-line to an on-line classroom.
  • Gain first-hand knowledge and experience of what it takes feels like to learn in an online environment.
  • Experience the convenience of online instruction, as all of your certification coursework will be online.
  • Develop a solid foundation for learning in an online environment.

How to Teach Online

humanresourcesdegreeAs soon as you acquire your online teaching certification, you are probably to want to go straight into teaching online to utilize the skills and tools that you have just picked up.  Let’s go over the most basic steps that you need to take to immerse yourself in the world of online teaching.

  1. Obtain credentials:  Because the world of online teaching is growing so quickly, the competition for jobs is becoming more competitive.  Aim to get the same types of degrees and skills that you would need for traditional classroom teaching.  For instance, consider your B.A. in education or a specific area of teaching.
  2. Ask for student references:  If you have taught or tutored students in the past, it can be helpful to ask those students to provide online testimonials to support your teaching abilities.  This will give other students or employers something to look towards.
  3. Develop your office at home:  Since you will be teaching online, you are going to want to have the resources you need at your fingertips for once your classes begin.  Here are some of the essentials: high speed internet, a phone line, and a fax line.
  4. Reach out to employers and students:  Once you have your office set up, you are going to want to reach out to potential employers and students to offer your services.  You may want to find an online teaching company, such as, or establish your own company if you feel you have a good network available.
  5. Market yourself:  It is important to be able to give employers and students an idea of what you can offer them.  Consider making a video that you can put up online that will demonstrate your abilities and potential as a teacher.

Benefits of Teaching Online

So why are students and teachers alike moving online to continue or begin their educational endeavors?

  • Online teachers have the flexibility of being able to perform their teaching duties at their convenience.  This means that they can choose to keep regular jobs, start families, or travel at their own will.
  • Online teachers can reach students across multiple time zones.
  • Although some think it would be easy for students to not participate in online instruction, there is plenty of student engagement that happens online.  Generally students feel more comfortable participating since our generation is so used to communicating online.
  • Interactive and independent learning:  As an online teacher, you can use a variety of teaching strategies, both online and offline to achieve your goals and objectives as a teacher.  Teachers can use hybrid models to develop solutions and create nontraditional courses for their students online.

Enter The Digital Age

With an online teaching certification, you will learn how to design, implement, assess, and evaluate curriculum content with interactive and appropriate teaching methodologies for an online classroom. With your knowledge, your students will explore leading instructional technology tools, software, and web-based applications.  Get ready to excel in the digital age and begin your journey in online teaching today.