Certification and Professional Development Courses
Online instructors need time, support, and guidance to teach effectively and confidently in online spaces. GSOLE, a community of experts in online literacy practices, is offering a series of professional development courses, which have the potential to culminate in a Basic Online Literacy Instruction Certificate.
These month-long courses have been designed to help teachers and tutors new to online learning implement research-based practices in online courses and online writing centers. The certification program is designed to support the instructional work of anyone teaching reading and writing, such as instructors teaching composition, professional writing, literature, creative writing, writing-intensive courses in majors across the disciplines, as well as writing center tutors and English teachers in middle and high schools.
There are two ways to engage with these professional development courses:
2022-2023 GSOLE Professional Development Course Calendar
We recommend those new to OLI begin with "Module 1: Defining Terms and Learning Key Concepts." Otherwise, modules do not need to be taken in order.
August: Join us for two free one-hour events...
Spring courses will open for registration in November
January: Join us for two free one-hour events:
Professional Development Course Information
Each course focuses on an OLI topic (see the full topic list to the right) and will be moderated by an instructor-mentor who is an expert practitioner and scholar in OLI. With no more than 9 of their peers, participants will engage in reading and discussing OLI theory and research, reflective writing, and the generation of an assignment artifact. Artifacts will be illustrations of the OLI topics in practice, and participants will have flexibility and choice in how they illustrate their learning. For instance, in our module on accessible and inclusive student learning, participants can create an institutional guide for students, creating a guide for teachers and tutors in their program, analyze a collection of syllabi for accessible and inclusive design, or interview local campus experts.
Instructor-mentors will provide participants with timely feedback on their annotations, reflections, and artifact assignments. Participants must submit all components of the module and receive a passing evaluation from the instructor-mentor to successfully complete the course.
We estimate participants will spend approximately at least seven hours of labor across four weeks completing the module.
Earning Basic OLI Certification
Basic certification consists of eight modules, each of which is conducted and evaluated based on a course contract. Final certificate evaluation will be based on an OLI ePortfolio.
Individuals earning the Basic OLI Certificate will be able to…
If participants are registering for the certificate using the certification rate, they must complete all eight modules and submit their ePortfolio for evaluation within a three-year period. Each module topic will be offered in a month-long module format twice a year.
Participants who pay the flat module registration fee of $25 per module may complete the certification at any pacing that works for them, even if that expands beyond a three-year period.
The OLI ePortfolio
Those looking to complete the full certification will also need to create an OLI ePortfolio centered around their identity as an OLI educator and supported with the artifacts created through the eight modules. While this ePortfolio will integrate your learning and prompt you to reflect on what you have learned, we hope it will have additional relevance for you as a professional beyond the certification. Two GSOLE Certification Evaluation Committee members, whose review will be anonymous, will evaluate the participant’s ePortfolio on a pass/fail basis. If there is disagreement between the two evaluators, the ePortfolio will be assessed by a third evaluator. Participants who do not pass the portfolio have the option to resubmit their ePortfolio for further evaluation following revision; these participants can request an extension which will provide them one-on-one instructor guidance while revising their work.
More on Participants’ Workload
These professional development courses have been designed to teach participants foundational principles and practices of teaching and tutoring writing online. Yet, it is also designed to give each participant the opportunity to apply those principles to the contexts in which they work or anticipate working. The rigor and labor associated with this course can be compared to a graduate-level course (engaging with multiple scholarly readings, discussing concepts with peers, and synthesizing your learning into a polished artifacts assignment). We estimate participants will spend approximately seven hours per monthly module.
More on the ePortfolio Curriculum
The certification process has been designed to teach the GSOLE Online Literacy Instruction Principles and Tenets (2019) and practices of teaching and tutoring writing online. Yet, it is also designed to give each participant the opportunity to apply those principles to the contexts in which they work or anticipate working. In Module 8, they will look across their experiences to reflect on their identity as an OLI practitioner and develop a learning or showcase ePortfolio, which will serve as their deliverable for final evaluation in the certification.
This portfolio must contain artifacts that provide evidence of skills, experiences, and knowledge from each module will be placed in an ePortfolio that will be submitted for final assessment to demonstrate completion of each objective. A short personal reflection will accompany each artifact. Participants will produce a personal, evolving theory of OLI, which they can begin drafting in the biannual workshop on this topic. Students will refine their theory of OLI and add it to their ePortfolio. Then, participants will submit their ePortfolio for review and evaluation by a GSOLE Certification Board of Evaluators.
To earn certification, a participant will have to earn a passing grade for each assignment and have a passing ePortfolio. As participants complete each module assignment, their work will be reviewed by and discussed with their peers and GSOLE instructor-mentors. Upon completion of each assignment, GSOLE instructor-mentors will provide extensive feedback on the participant’s work with a preliminary evaluation. They can revise each assignment as many times as they would like.
When applying for certification, two GSOLE Certification Evaluation Committee members, whose review will be anonymous, will evaluate the ePortfolio on a pass/fail basis. If there is disagreement between the two evaluators, the ePortfolio will be assessed by a third evaluator. Participants who do not pass the portfolio have the option to resubmit their ePortfolio for further evaluation following revision; these participants can request an extension which will provide them one-on-one instructor guidance while revising their work.