Certificate in Online and Blended Teaching

The Certificate in Online and Blended Teaching (OBT Certificate) is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Provost to promote sound pedagogical course design and delivery in online or blended teaching.

This certificate program builds upon the Online and Blended Teaching Program (OBTP) by providing opportunity for instructors to reflect on their teaching practice and receive detailed evaluation of an online or blended course they have taught. OBT Certificate recipients are asked to later serve as course reviewers for the program, fostering a culture of peer review and effective online teaching.

To earn the OBT Certificate, educators demonstrate how they have incorporated OBTP-recommended teaching practices in their online or blended course. They provide evidence in two formats:

  • The applicant’s Canvas course site that showcases sound online course design and delivery (e.g. through module design, syllabus, assignments, grading feedback, online discussions, posted announcements, etc.)
  • A written reflection and a course self-evaluation that document strategies implemented, strengths of the course, and areas for further growth

Steps to Apply

Prior to applying, a candidate must have:

  1. first earned the OBTP Badge of Completion (or completed the in-person OBTP prior to 2020);
  2. then fully taught as the instructor of record a for-credit online or blended course at UWM.

After completing the above two steps, submit an application for the OBT certificate by emailing the following three items to Sarah MacDonald [macdonal@uwm.edu]:

  • The name and term (e.g. MSP 771: Holistic Peacebuilding Practice, Spring 2021) of the course you wish to have evaluated, along with the URL (web address) of the Canvas course site home page
  • A completed self-review of this course using the (Full) Evaluation Checklist for Online Courses [PDF]
  • A 3-5 page accompanying reflection, following these Reflection Guidelines [PDF]

Applications for the OBT certificate are due by August 31 annually.

Evaluation Process and Criteria

Each application for the OBT Certificate is evaluated independently by two anonymous reviewers. These reviewers are CETL consultants or instructors who have previously earned the OBT Certificate.

Course reviews are conducted using the Evaluation Checklist for Online Courses (see link above). While this checklist isn’t used in a strictly qualitative way, applicants who successfully earn the certificate typically have demonstrated attention to criteria across all five of the checklist sections. For more information about the course review process or the evaluation checklist criteria, visit the Checklist Help page.

Course reviews are completed during the Fall semester, and candidates receive their results and feedback in December. Certificates are awarded in January and recognized during CETL’s annual Teaching and Learning Symposium.

If an applicant is not awarded the OBT Certificate, this is because their course site and accompanying reflection do not (yet) visibly demonstrate how they are effectively applying their learning from the OBTP. In this infrequent scenario, the applicant will receive feedback from the anonymous course reviewers and the certificate program coordinator, highlighting key areas for attention and improvement. They are encouraged, if they wish, to re-apply another year.

For further information or questions about the Certificate in Online and Blended Teaching, please contact Sarah MacDonald in CETL.