Online Teaching Certificate Overview

Minimum Number of Hours: 18


The Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching is designed to prepare graduate students for teaching positions in online or other distance education settings in both the K-12 and higher education environments.

The certificate provides students with essential knowledge and skills in pedagogy, course development, evaluation, instruction, and other aspects of the educational process in online learning environments.

The certificate program is open to students who are currently enrolled in a Wayne State University a graduate program and who plan on seeking online teaching positions upon completing their degrees.

The Certificate

  • Provides an employment market advantage by supplying students with supporting credentials regarding their online teaching skills;
  • Helps give students an understanding of the challenges of teaching and learning online;
  • Equips students more fully to teach online courses by focusing on using web- and Internet-based tools for educational purposes; designing technology-based instruction; teaching methods and concepts of teaching online; multimedia, computer-assisted instruction and distance education; and online instruction based on strong theoretical and research foundations.


The use of distance education by post-secondary and K-12 institutions is growing at a phenomenal rate. However, the training of online teachers has not matched this growth. Recent research reported that only 1 percent of the K-12 teachers in the United States have been trained to teach online. Since the skills to teach in an online environment cannot be assumed to transfer automatically from skills in teaching a face-to-face classroom, most online instructors are left unprepared to deal with the demands placed upon them because they do not understand the unique communication and pedagogical demands of teaching in an online environment.

Wayne State 's Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching is aligned with the International Association for K-12 Online Learning's national standard for online teaching, along with the Michigan education technology stanards related to online teaching and course design. The Graduate Certificate provides graduate students an opportunity to integrate new and innovative approaches to teaching online. The Certificate was developed by the College of Education.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Ke Zhang, Program Director - College of Education
313-577-1679 or 313-577-1728