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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Distance Teaching & Learning (DT&L) is moving from offering participation-based certificates with different time frames to a model of just-in-time learning, focused on individual skills. Starting in 2020, we will begin a two-year process that will result in:

  • smaller, less-expensive, more-focused offerings;
  • greater engagement and interaction;
  • focus on specific skills and knowledge; and
  • credentials that show exactly what you did to achieve those skills.

All of our new offerings that will be rolling out between 2020 and 2022 have the same high quality and engagement for which the University of Wisconsin–Madison is known.

Yes, they are. The same programs that you earned in the past—like Foundations of Online Teaching and the Professional Certificate in Online Education—will continue to be offered in our expanded curriculum, but in smaller pieces that add up to badges (3 courses), certificates of achievement (3 badges), and professional certificates (5 badges plus a capstone activity/project).

Courses are digital offerings that indicate that you have demonstrated related sets of skills within a narrow knowledge area. Courses usually consist of three modules, each focused on a single skill or knowledge take-away. Expect to spend up to 6 hours (usually over the course of 3 weeks) engaging and demonstrating your skills (plus more time reading and taking in information). Course completion earns you 0.6 continuing education units (CEUs).

Badges are collections of 3 courses in a single broad skill area. Expect to spend 18 to 20 hours over the course of 9 weeks engaging and demonstrating your skills (plus more time reading and taking in information). Badges also earn you 2.0 continuing education units (CEUs).

Each badge documents your ability to master the skills in the courses that make up the badge, and you can share that documentation to show your employer, colleagues, and the world just what those new skills are.

More than just shiny graphics, badges are widely-recognized credentials that support, prove, and justify your strengthened skills. Learn more about badges with this short video from Credly [1:24].

Certificates of Achievement are collections of courses and/or badges that demonstrate your mastery of a cluster of related skills in a broad knowledge area.

Expect to spend approximately 60 hours engaging and demonstrating your skills (plus more time reading and taking in information). Certificates of Achievement also earn you 6.0 continuing education units (CEUs), the equivalent of one 3-credit college course.

Professional Certificates are collections of courses and/or badges that demonstrate your mastery of a cluster of related skills in a broad knowledge area. In addition, a capstone project or single practical application of all certificate skills is required. This shows your ability to apply new concepts and skills beyond the scope of the courses in our program.

Expect to spend approximately 120 hours engaging and demonstrating your skills (plus more time reading and taking in information). Professional Certificates also earn you 12.0 continuing education units (CEUs), the equivalent of two 3-credit college courses.

Yes. If you complete all of the activities in a course, badge, or certificate program, you will earn the CEUs for that offering. This is separate from the credentials themselves, which are based on mastering skill activities, so just putting in the time usually qualifies you for the CEUs. To learn more, see our page on CEUs.

UW-Madison issues credentials using industry-recognized platforms, so any badge you earn can be shared via a snippet of code for your web site, or it can be listed on your résumé with a link. Check out this video and web-page guide.

We get it: life gets in the way. Just contact your instructor. We offer a "second chance" to take the same course again, free of charge, when unexpected things happen. So long as you have completed less than 80% of the activities in your course, we’ll re-schedule you for the next time that course is offered.

Check our General Policies page, and if you still have a question, e-mail us on dtl@dcs.wisc.edu.