As with all instruction at College of the Desert, we are striving to ensure that our distance education courses meet that same quality standard. In order to assist in this process, and in keeping with current state requirements, a formal certification process was approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2015. In the future, this training process will also allow us the opportunity to participate in the Online Education Initiative's course exchange. Read more about the Online Education Initiative (Links to an external site.).
The required certification process is outlined below in the Board of Trustee's Administrative Policy 4105.
Certification: Faculty who are new to distance education and would like to teach an online or hybrid course at COD will need to become DE Certified. Certification is attained by taking two 4-week courses. These fully online classes are offered through the @One Project and COD’s OTA: Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning and Creating Accessible Online Courses.
Orientation: In addition to completing the required courses, faculty will be required to participate in a COD Distance Education Orientation which meets on campus and transmits live through the internet. The orientation details COD’s policies and procedures regulating distance education. The orientation also introduces faculty to the learning management system. It is best if this orientation is taken after they have completed the Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning course.2
Previous Online Teaching Experience: Faculty members who have continuously taught DE courses the past 3 years may be eligible to waive some of the faculty training requirements for initial DE certification. Faculty applying for a training waiver need to submit a narrative detailing their online teaching experience and present a course (or courses) taught in the past to the DE Subcommittee. Faculty who initially qualify for waiver status, are also encouraged to complete a series of professional development courses. It is highly recommended refresher training be taken to maintain skills with changing technologies and to meet State legal requirements for online instructor certification.
Previous Online Training/Certification: Faculty who have not taught online but have taken the equivalent training coursework within the past 5 years may be eligible to waive some or all of the training requirements. Faculty applying for certification need to submit appropriate evidence of the completion of the coursework/certificate and course descriptions to the DE Subcommittee. Since technology changes so quickly, any training coursework that was finished more than 5 years ago needs to be repeated.
Emergency Hires: In the case an emergency hire does not fulfill the training requirements for teaching online, the faculty member must complete the training requirements within their first semester of employment.
Even if some of the training requirements have been waived, faculty will need to take the Distance Education Orientation prior to being cleared to teach. Additionally, Canvas training is highly recommended.
In order to maintain DE certification, the faculty member shall demonstrate continued professional growth through such activities as, but not limited to: course work, attendance at workshops, seminars, professional meetings, professional reading and study, publications, and conference presentations. These activities should be completed at least once per two-year period and must be approved by the DE Subcommittee.
As of September 2016, almost 30 COD instructors are fully certified with another 50 who have completed at least part of the required training. Faculty interested in taking any course should contact the Distance Education Coordinator.
The Orientation to Distance Education at COD is a self-paced course and faculty may
enroll at any time by contacting the Distance Education Coordinator.