Courses and certificate programs in online education

For more than 20 years, distance education practitioners have recognized UW-Madison’s Distance Education Professional Development (DEPD) as the established leader in providing quality certificate programs and courses in online education. DEPD also offers custom solutions for your organization’s professional development needs.


Fundamentals of Online Teaching Certificate (FoOT): This foundational certificate is designed for those who are new to the field of distance education or who are thinking about teaching online, either now or in the future. This basic overview is a great way to become familiar with the concepts, tools, and strategies of the online environment. You'll complete a final assignment that challenges you to use your new online learning knowledge to develop a learning activity plan and consider key components of an effective online course. (30 hours/3 CEUs)
Professional Certificate in Online Education (PCOE): Designed for faculty and instructors with some experience teaching online, you'll expand your knowledge and skills, as well as learn and apply proven strategies for designing effective and engaging online courses. The certificate culminates in a professional ePortfolio project that demonstrates your online course development and delivery skills. (70 hours/7 CEUs)
K12 Certificate in Online Teaching (KCOT): Achieve your professional goals with maximum convenience, flexibility, and affordability. This certificate provides a solid foundation in the pedagogy of online teaching, focusing on key principles and practices important for K12 educators. The certificate is completely online and self-paced. (30 hours/3 CEUs)

Customized Professional Development Solutions

Professional development for educators, trainers, and course designers is essential in the ever-changing landscape of online and distance education. Leverage DEPD’s expertise and resources to customize professional development courses or certificates in distance education to meet the specific needs of your instructional and support staff. Request more information»

The skills you need, when you need them

Practical: These totally online, flexible certificates and courses prepare you with foundational knowledge and skills essential for any instructor or course designer working in online environments. You’ll be able to immediately apply what you learn to your own online courses.

High quality: The certificates and courses model a principles-to-practice approach. Course content reflects only the most reliable, research-based knowledge in the field of online education, which is then translated into practical strategies for instructors and designers.

Personalized: In most assignments you will apply new knowledge to your own teaching or design needs as you consider your unique students, subject area, and context. The products you create will be tangible and immediately applicable within your professional context.

Marketable: Your individual products will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and ideas related to the field online education and can be shared with current or potential employers or supervisors.

Expert feedback: DEPD instructors are experts in online education and provide feedback on your assignments. They are available for consultation during your coursework.

Professional community: Many courses include collaborative learning activities and provide opportunities for connecting with other professionals in the field.

Besides our courses and certificate programs, we host an annual conference every August. Come learn, grow, and help us celebrate 30+ years of teaching innovation!