Online teaching was the perfect part-time job for me. E-learning and online teaching replaced coaching and after school clubs as a way to supplement my income. I loved it! I was working with great teachers from around the world and learning new things everyday. I also realized I was opening a door to a new career. Eventually, after 25 years in a traditional classroom, I decided to take early retirement, and pursue my passion for online teaching and learning full time.
Now I make my living online and enjoy a freedom and flexibility that once seemed like an impossible dream. Working online is everything I'd hoped for, and more. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen. I made the change one step at a time. It took me awhile to figure out how to find work.
I've found that the key to an online career is a power triangle of essential elements:
- Subject Matter Expertise
- 21st Century Networking
- E-learning and Teaching Experience
Subject Matter Expertise
Your expertise is rooted with your life, academic, and work experiences. If you are a teacher, your expertise is established by the courses you've taught and the degrees you hold. If you are a military, corporate or medical trainer your expertise is established by your subject specialization and the variety of training positions you've held.
An Graduate Certificate in E-Learning and Online Teacher documents a new area of subject matter expertise!
Roughly 80% of your e-learning work will come from networking face to face and online.
Decision makers want to hire people they know. When they can't find someone they know personally they reach out to an extended network of trusted advisors. Many jobs go unadvertised or are created when a person with the right skills is discovered.
Building your networks will open the door to a new future.
1. Start where you work right now.
- Let your professional circle know you are pursuing an e-learning certificate or a degree online.
- Many participants in UW-Stout's E-Learning and Online Teaching program are offered new e-learning jobs where they are currently working..
- Go to conferences and get to know others who share your professional interests.
- Attend both face to face and online conferences (Webinars).
- Have business cards printed and hand them out!
- Successful online students become successful online teachers.
- Get to know your classmates.
- Some of your strongest professional bonds will be with colleagues you meet in your online classes.
- Join an online network dedicated to your specific professional interests.
- Join job search oriented social networks.
- A professional presence on the Internet is important.
- Build a classroom website.
- Write a blog about an area of interest.
- Create a wiki for collaborative projects
- Show what you know with an e-portfolio.
E-Learning and Online Teaching Experience
The University of Wisconsin-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program provides experience as both an online student and an online teacher.
You have a developed a skill set as a classroom teacher or trainer. However, teaching or training experience does not fully prepare you for the unique challenges of e-learning and online teaching.
- Jumping into online teaching job without training can be a painful and frustrating experience.
- You need experience as an onlne teacher and specialized training in facilitation techniques to develop the craft of effective online instruction.
- You will experience the best practices of online learning.
- You will learn how to develop a community of learners through intense collaboration and discussion.
- You will build strong professional bonds with your colleagues.
- You will work with highly trained master teachers who are dedicated to helping you grow and learn.
- You create curriculum and assessments using Web 2.0 tools.
- You facilitate small group discussions.
- You practice the teaching skills in a supportive environment rich in timely feedback.
- Each of the five classes is a model of the best practices of teaching and learning online.
- If you've never taught an online class, you'll teach with a mentor teacher in one of our online professional development classes.
- If you are currently teaching or training online, we craft a program that offers you the course design or teaching skill feedback you most need.
- Customized internships with K-12 Virtual Schools are also possible.
Courses are offered each semester (three times each year). All courses earn three graduate credits.