College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Online distance learning professional development badge

This seven-week, online bootcamp in online and distance learning is designed for working professionals who want to understand how to design and facilitate online learning experiences that engage learners and build community using the best practices in the field of distance education. This is a non-credit, professional development opportunity. You will earn an elite digital Gold Badge from the University of Minnesota and 35 continuing education clock hours after completing the course.

Request a workshop for groups of five to 20 participants. The workshop can be delivered March-November.

Flexible, online format

This course is designed as a highly interactive and engaging asynchronous online learning experience.

A new class agenda is posted at the beginning of each week with an introduction video. Throughout each week, learners engage with class colleagues, content material, and the facilitator during each weekly class session.

Learners have the freedom and autonomy to choose their schedule for completing the weekly activities, engaging with course participants, and working on the final project. Learners can expect approximately five hours of work each week for a total of 35 clock hours across the seven weeks of the course.

Quote from Samantha Nissen

The Online Learning bootcamp is designed in such a way that I was able to apply concepts directly to my job, while getting real-time feedback from the instructor. This iterative process allowed me to learn so much in a short time...

Samantha Nissen Assistant Director of Academic and Career Services Northwestern University

About the program

Course content

At the end of this seven-week online bootcamp, Gold Badge earners will be able to:

  • Discuss theories, models, and frameworks for designing and facilitating online learning.
  • Design engaging learning experiences that foster deep engagement with the subject matter as well as connection to peers and instructors in the online environment.
  • Integrate a variety of multimedia applications for tailored learning experiences.
  • Use emerging technologies to create media for teaching and learning online.

Course schedule

  • Class 1: Welcome, Introductions, and Setting up our Learning Community
  • Class 2: Social Learning Theories
  • Class 3: Introduction to Instructional Design for Online Distance Learning
  • Class 4: Frameworks: Community of Inquiry (CoI) and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK)
  • Class 5: Recontextualizing Community and Engaging the Online Learner
  • Class 6: Engagement and Social Presence Online
  • Class 7: Final Reflections on Connectedness in Online Learning and Extending our Learning Community


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