About the certification
The Certificate Class

In coordination with MiraCosta College's Professional Development Program, the Program for Online Teaching offers a certificate in online teaching. Certification is based on learning pedagogical techniques, mastering online tools, and contributing to the online teaching community.

Our in-house program differs considerably from other certification programs in that it emphasizes pedagogy over tool use. Our philosophy is that technology tools should always be at the command of the instructor's pedagogy, and not the other way around. It is similar to other programs in that it requires significant time spent working in the online environment itself.

Note: The full class for the certificate is CLOSED for 2011-12, but you can still participate on your own blog by using the "potcert11" tag on posts. If you are a MiraCosta instructor, you can also earn flex credit as an Independent Project, with your blog posts as documentation.

The foundation of the POT Online Teaching Certificate is the Certificate Class, a one-year (two 12-week semesters) class which consists of guided readings, tool exploration, and weekly blog postings. It is run by volunteer faculty, and is not an official class at MiraCosta College, but rather an open, online experience.

Class information is located at our Pedagogy First! blog.


How do I enroll for the certificate or to just join the class?

Contact Lisa M. Lane, program director, to join the 2011-12 cohort.

Is this an official MiraCosta College class or certificate?
No. This class is offered by the Program for Online Teaching, a volunteer group of faculty who work at MiraCosta College and have been offering workshops for faculty there since 2005. The certificate is offered by POT, not by MiraCosta College.
How much does it cost?

There is no tuition, but certificate participants are expected to "pay it forward", by helping mentor and moderate future students.

At this time, the only monetary cost is $30 or so for the textbook, plus occasional small amounts for particular applications (such as Jing Pro or other "freemium" products).

When can I start?
The next Certificate Class begins September 1, 2011. Deadline to "enroll" is August 26.
Do I also get flex time?

Yes for MiraCostans, but you need to apply to PDP to get flex for reading, creating and blogging. [Submit a Category III: Individual Project proposal through the flex website for Professional Development Committee approval.] Both full-time and associate faculty are welcome in this program. At 4-5 hours per week, possible participation may total the full 50 or 60 hours of the flex contract for full-time faculty. If you are joining us from another college, please check with your professional development program.

When does the class meet?
Class is in session for 12 weeks during both fall and spring semesters. The schedule is designed to avoid the very beginning and end of the semester, when faculty are busiest. Fall semester begins September 1, and Spring semester begins February 1. Most activities are asynchronous. No on-campus attendance is required.
How is the course structured?
The Certificate Class for 2011-12 is an open online course. Participants create their own blogs for posting their work, then add their blog's information to the Pedagogy First! site, where their posts will be "aggregated". Weekly instructions will appear at Pedagogy First!
How many hours per week does the class involve?

For most instructors, about 4-5 hours per week will be needed to successfully complete readings and tasks.

For fast readers, fast writers, or those with educational technology experience, it may be less. For those with little web experience, it may be more.

Will my work be seen by others?

Yes, all work for the certificate is done in public on the open web, as part of the wider community of online teachers and facilitators. Interested parties from the global educational community are invited to participate. This is part of the philosophy of the program, which emphasizes sharing and community. If you have privacy concerns, you may use a pseudonym by permission only.

How will my work be evaluated?

This program is designed for self-motivated, self-directed instructors. Participants will use their blog posts at Pedagogy First! to document their work for the certificate and/or for independent flex activities. Reflection and community are key components of the certificate program. Participants will need evidence of ongoing reflection, participation in an online environment, and fulfillment of all requirements, but it is the responsibility of the participant to develop documentation for the certificate. The POT leadership makes the final determination of whether all requirements have been fulfilled.

Where do I go for help?

Feel free to contact any of the POT leadership: Robert Kelley, Jim Sullivan, Lisa M. Lane, Pilar Hernández, Laura Paciorek at any time.

What is the certificate, really?

paper certAt the successful conclusion of the program, each participant will be given a Program for Online Teaching virtual badge (in png, jpg or gif format), which can be displayed on the instructor's online classes and websites (see sample at left). It's available in three colors to match your class website. The certificate itself will be emailed to participants as a pdf file (see sample at right).

Can I join if I'm from another college?

Yes, instructors from other colleges are welcome to either earn a certificate or just participate in the learning as they wish. Space may be limited for that year's certificate, so please contact Lisa M Lane to make sure there's space. Most classes thus far have had space to accomodate faculty from elsewhere. MCC flex credit is only available for MCC faculty.

I just want to attend a few weeks where I'm interested in the topic. Can I still get flex credit?

Yes, MCC instructors can get flex credit as an individual project for participating in readings and activities, just like those formally enrolled in the Certificate Class. To document the activity, you must post in the Forum at the POT site, then include a copy or the URL with your documentation to PDP, or be posting on your own blog.

I am still finishing up Cohort #3 from 2010-11. Where is the information?
For Fall 2010-Spring 2011: Cohort #3 requirements are here. Cohorts #1-#3's blog Pedagogy First! blog (Typepad format) is here also. Nothing has been lost.
I already completed the certificate. How can I help?

Certificate holders and experienced online instructors are always welcome (and often requested) to become mentors and moderators in the class. Just contact Lisa to volunteer!

For more information, contact Lisa M. Lane. Sign up for flex workshops at http://www.miracosta.edu/flex.

Last updated 25 August 2011

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