The Online Educator Specialization prepares you with skills needed for careers such as instructional coordinators, instructional designers and technologists, distance learning coordinators, training and development specialists, and computer user support specialists within the field of online learning. In the specialization, you develop an online course that integrates technology, learning theory, and professional standards to create a robust example of teaching and learning online. Learn more about enhancing your online degree program through Ashford University. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.
Specialization for Graduate Degrees
Evaluate your own courses and peer review classmates’ courses. Topics within the five (5), three credits courses of the Online Education specialization include instructional strategies useful for both blended and online learning, techniques for facilitating online courses, strategies for assessing online learners, and methods for collaboration and group work in an online environment.
This course presents an overview of the online learning environment from the instructor's point of view. It is a description of the terminology, tools, and skills needed to create a successful online learning experience. Areas addressed in this course include basic online learning concepts, the roles of the teacher and student in online learning, and the components of the online learning environment. Also covered in the course are teaching methodologies, types of blended learning, and guidelines for making the transition from the traditional classroom to the online classroom. Hardware, software, and other tools and technologies used in online learning are discussed.
EDU 601 Promoting Student Success in the Online Learning Environment
This course covers the basic tools needed for student success in an online learning environment. Topics include communication, collaboration, and software skills required to succeed in online learning. Also covered are instructor and student responsibilities and expectations, as well as potential roadblocks to success. Tools and techniques for organizing, prioritizing, and completing course tasks are discussed. Finally, instructional methods for guiding students and evaluating student progress in online courses are also addressed. Prerequisite: EDU 600.
EDU 602 Assessing Knowledge & Skills in the Online Learning Environment
This course examines approaches that assess student knowledge and skills in the online learning environment. Directed instruction, or objectivism, is compared and contrasted with constructivist or inquiry-based learning and assessment theories. Traditional assessment strategies are discussed as applied in directed instructional models of online learning. Nontraditional assessment approaches are explored in constructivist models, such as group products, web pages, multimedia projects, student portfolios, and student projects graded by self-report assessment instruments and rubrics. This course will focus on the use of discussions, pre- and post-testing, writing activities, graded assessments, self-grading assessments, and hands-on projects on student learning and assessment. Prerequisite: EDU 600.
EDU 609 Online Teaching Internship
In previous courses, students developed an online course within a Learning Management System (LMS) using principles and strategies of quality online learning. In this capstone course, students will collect data and feedback around the online teaching and learning experience. Students will then make further improvements to their online courses based on the evaluative data. Finally, students will create a professional portfolio piece using their revised online course as a model to demonstrate the principles and strategies used in the field to ensure quality online learning. Prerequisite: EDU 601 & EDU 602.
EDU 651 Collaboration & Learning in a Virtual Environment
Students will explore teaching and learning in virtual worlds. Project-based design, facilitation, and evaluation of instruction, research, and other resources will be examined. The use of online collaboration for student learning and effective uses of various technologies for social networking will be explored.