Faculty & Educators

Are you curious about teaching your course online?

The Basics of Online Course Development

  1. Course Planning - 1 year prior to course start date
    • Course goals
    • Outline of content
  2. Course Design - 11 to 9 months prior to course start date
    • Overview
    • Learning Objectives
    • Reading Assignments
    • Lesson Content
    • Activity
    • Assessment
    • Rubrics
  3. Course Development - 8 to 4 months prior to course start date
    • Provide content to our instructional designers to transfer to the online format
    • Place readings in the library reserves (if applicable)
  4. Final Revisions of content, syllabus, and course schedule - 3 months prior
  5. Course Evaluations and content revisions - after the course has been offered, but prior to the next offering

Please look over the Course Development page for in-depth explanations. And remember, the eLearning team will help you with every step of the process.

Certificate for Online Teaching

The Certificate for Online Teaching is a professional development program to prepare for online teaching success. The five courses in the series are offered completely online and provide faculty an “online student experience” while exploring a rich variety of critical topics necessary for mastery in the online classroom.

All five courses are strongly recommended for online instructors of courses offered through Penn State World Campus, however The College of Agricultural Sciences only requires those noted below.

  • OL 1000: Introduction to the World Campus
  • OL 1800: Accessibility (required)
  • OL 1900: ProveIt! (required)
  • OL 2000: Effective Online Teaching (required)
  • OL 2600: The Adult Learner
  • OL 2700: Teaching Presence

Top 5 Reasons to Earn the Certificate for Online Teaching

Larry Boggess
Director, World Campus Faculty Development

Number 5: Face-to-face teaching skills don’t transfer well to the online, digital space, especially the asynchronous digital space. Instructors need special understandings and competencies to make online learning engaging and personalized for students. 
Number 4: Online teaching can take MORE time if you don’t grasp the understandings and master the competencies. We know that online teaching takes more time at first for most instructors, but efficiencies improve with learning new concepts and performances presented in our OL courses. 
Number 3: The credential we give you, now a paper certificate but soon a digital badge, will be of value to your dossier as online teaching becomes an expected repertoire of skills for all faculty at Penn State.
Number 2: The certificate can be completed in 30 hours or less over an eight-week period (depending on how you design it. Need help with that? Let me know).
Number 1: Student learning is our highest priority. Completing the OL certificate is one meaningful way to assure that your high quality instruction contributes to students' ultimate success in their programs and careers.

In addition to the main certificate courses, there are several courses on topics relevant to online teaching being offered throughout the year. Take a look at the World Campus Faculty Development list of courses to see if any interest you.

To join the World Campus Faculty Development Listserv, simply send an email to . No subject or message required.

Getting your Course Online

If you have any questions about going online, please Contact Us. We will be happy to answer all your questions!


A detailed account of online course development including the learning strategies and multimedia behind each course, the time line, and the faculty action plan.

Library Resources and Support for Online Educators

Is your course moving into Drupal? These short tutorials will get you started with the new interface.