The Online Teaching Academy (OTA) Certification is the official preparation program for instructors wishing to teach online courses at UVU. UVU Faculty Senate has mandated that all online faculty (both full-time and adjunct) earn certification by Fall 2021. This program is designed to give educators an opportunity to develop skills, reflect on past practice, and meaningfully plan for future practice. This path is designed to advance online and hybrid pedagogy including ways to develop instructor presence, peer-to-peer interaction, and meaningful and secure online assessments.
Most faculty have not experienced being an online student, so it’s valuable to assume the role of a student in navigating, scheduling, and successfully completing a self-paced online course. Your OTA course facilitator is an experienced peer who will model how an online instructor can generate rapport with individual students, create a sense of learning community, and pace the class. The content of the course has been thoughtfully selected to focus on the essence of great online teaching. How does the geographically distant professor not seem distant to students? How can asynchronous delivery of content effectively occur? Note this workshop is not about online course design (that’s a separate experience called FlexStudio), but instead focuses on teaching and ways to engage and support the online student.
At the completion of this certification course, you will receive a stipend, badge, and recognition on the OTL Teaching Certification dashboard. All OTA graduates enter into the Online Teaching Learning Community in MS Teams. Within this virtual collaboration space, we will continue to share ideas about online teaching to collectively advance online student success at UVU.
For highly experienced online instructors, consider bypassing this certification course altogether and seeking alternative credentialing through a dialogue with an instructional designer. Contact Seth Gurell ([email protected]) for more information about alternate certification. Additionally, those faculty members wishing to create an online or hybrid course should contact Seth Gurell to participate in FlexStudio.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate appropriate use of tools within Canvas to encourage discussion, collaboration, and reflection.
  2. Describe social presence and assess the degree of social presence within a course. Propose improvements to a given course based on contemporary knowledge of social presence.
  3. Determine appropriate strategies for finding resources for a given course as well as demonstrate relevant tools for creating resources in that course.
  4. Analyze a given learning objective and determine the appropriate method for assessment and identify an activity that supports completion of the assessment.
  5. Critique a given course based on principles and practices of student success and formulate possible solutions for any deficiencies.
  6. Assess a given course using the UVU Course Design Rubric.

OTA Workshops

This course consists of six different workshops (modules). OTA consists of the following modules: 

  • Technical Skills for Online Teaching
  • Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Learning
  • Develop Social Presence and Collaboration in the Online Environment
  • Activities and Assessments for Flexible Learning
  • Supporting Success in Online Environment
  • Quality Enhancement of Online and Hybrid Courses

Each workshop will take about 2-3 hours to complete, so expect to spend about 12-20 hours total to complete all 6 workshops.

There is also a culminating assignment that should take you 2-5 hours.  You should be able to complete the course in 20 to 25 hours.

How OTA Works

OTA is an online self-paced, asynchronous Canvas course. Each semester, OTA participants are assigned to a cohort that is facilitated by a faculty member with experience in online teaching. 

Who can participate: UVU faculty and staff who teach. Must be UVU employee. 

The OTA (six week) sessions have three start dates:

Spring Session

  • Day after MLK Day

Summer Session

  • Day after Memorial Day

Fall Session

  • Day after Labor Day

If you are interested in joining or have questions, contact [email protected].

Register on the OTL Certificates & Events Page