Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Certificate

Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, 125 Peik Hall, 159 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-4006; fax: 612-624-8277)
  • Program Type: Post-baccalaureate credit certificate/licensure/endorsement
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2023
  • Length of program in credits: 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Cert.
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The online distance learning certificate is designed to prepare educators and other professionals to design and deliver distance learning opportunities in academic or business settings (note that a university certificate program or certificate is distinct from a state certificate or certification). Technology experience is not required, and courses are designed for learners with a wide range of experience. This 12-credit certificate program will prepare students to successfully design, develop, and deliver curriculum on the Internet; use interactive online media; and create online learning communities for business and K-12 and postsecondary schools. As schools and businesses embrace online education, a variety of instructional design guidelines and pedagogical approaches have been developed to effectively guide online education and enhance learning. Goals of the distance learning certificate include: - Developing knowledge and skills in the best practices for designing and delivering online distance learning - Engaging with current research about distance learning, current practices, and learning theory - Providing opportunities to practice designing, developing, and delivering online distance learning - Creating learning communities where students can reflect on their own teaching, reading, designing, and writing - Allowing students to learn from each other
Program Delivery
  • completely online (all program coursework can be completed online)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 2.80.
A completed bachelor's degree is required for admission.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit transcripts from every college attended (even those where a degree wasn't earned), scores from the TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB (if applicable), a resume, and a one page goal statement. Certificate applications are reviewed by the department three times per academic year: Fall, Spring and Summer.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Core Courses (12 credits)
CI 5321 - Foundations of Distance Education (3.0 cr)
CI 5323 - Online Learning Communities (3.0 cr)
CI 5325 - Designing and Developing Online Distance Learning (3.0 cr)
CI 5371 - Learning Analytics: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
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CI 5321 - Foundations of Distance Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
History, philosophies, technologies, and best practices related to distance learning environments. Distance education theories. Issues in distance education.
CI 5323 - Online Learning Communities
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students design/research an online learning environment that promotes community. What community is, how it fosters learning in educational learning environments. Theories of distance learning instruction. Community models. technological tools to develop online communities.
CI 5325 - Designing and Developing Online Distance Learning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: 5351 or 5362 recommended
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Students research, use, and evaluate technologies for distance learning and design their own learning environments. prereq: 5351 or 5362 recommended
CI 5371 - Learning Analytics: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Learning analytics as a nascent field is broadly defined as the "measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs." This course aims to provide a general, non-technical survey of learning analytics, as well as its application in various educational contexts. In particular, we will discuss foundations of learning analytics, survey pertinent education theories, discuss new forms of assessment, explore popular data mining techniques, review learning analytical tools and case studies, and de- sign analytics for our own interested contexts. Given the breadth of this field, additional support is provided for deep dives in special interest areas. Overall, this course provides a comprehensive, theory-driven overview of learning analytics to orient students to this nascent field and prepare them for advanced research/practice in learning analytics.