Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development

Image of a building's foundation with two bubbles: Course Certification and Faculty Certification

Certification requirements

Before a course at Grand Valley can be offered in the hybrid or online formats, a two-part approval process is required. First, the course itself must be approved by the Online Education Council (OEC). Second, any faculty member who will be teaching that course must be individually approved. The "Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development" workshop from eLearning is the internal option for faculty to meet their individual certification requirement. If possible, faculty are encouraged to choose this option as it gives them direct experience with the elearning technologies actually use at Grand Valley.

To see additional faculty certification options, please visit the Pew FTLC's current list of choices.

About Foundations

The self-paced version of the Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development workshop has been designed to meet the University requirement that all faculty teaching hybrid and online classes be personally certified. Online materials and hands-on activities will guide participants through best practices associated with effective online teaching.

The content of this workshop consists of five pedagogy-focused modules and a number of elective modules that cover more practical or technical topics. To complete this workshop successfully, participants must complete all five required modules, as well as two of the available elective modules.

Participants may work at their own pace, but are expected to complete the training within the equivalent of one academic term. Upon finishing the required work, faculty will meet one-on-one with a member of the eLearning team to review their progress and confirm that all requirements have been met.


How do I sign-up?

Please watch this video to learn how to enroll in Foundations. The video walks you through the following steps:

  1. If you already have a Grand Valley email account, sign-in to the Blackboard website.
    • If you do not have an active GVSU account, please complete this online form.
    • A member of the eLearning team will create a guest account for you to use during your training, and will contact you with the information you need for accessing Blackboard.
  2. Locate the "Courses" tab on your MyBb page. In the "Course Search" box on the left, enter the name "Self Paced Foundations" and click the "Go" button.
  3. Find the "Self Paced Foundations…" entry in the search results. Hover over the workshop's course ID. Click the gray arrow button and select "Enroll".
  4. On the next "Self Enrollment" screen, click the "Submit" button.
  5. The next screen will show that you've successfully joined the workshop. Click the "OK" button to enter the workshop site and begin.


"Self Paced"? What does that mean?

As a self-paced workshop, you can begin Foundations at any point. There are no fixed/scheduled sessions that you need to wait for, and you can complete the work at your own pace. We'll consider you "done" when:

  • You've finished all 5 Required Modules.
  • You've completed 2 of the available Elective Modules.
  • You've completed all the activities throughout this site that ask you to build content in your practice test course.
  • You've met the requirements within one academic term of when you started.


Participants who complete this workshop will be able to:

  • Articulate how the concept of a Community of Inquiry and Universal Design lead to high impact learning experiences.
  • Develop engaging content appropriate for the online environment.
  • Follow recommended practices related to copyright and intellectual property for the online environment.
  • Apply quality standards in developing online and hybrid courses.
  • Identify ongoing support resources and how to access them.


Why do I have to take a workshop before I can teach an online course?

Grand Valley State University is committed to providing our students with quality online and hybrid courses. Through the Grand Valley faculty governance process, the University Academic Senate created a new standing committee, the Online Education and Microcredential Council (OEMC). The OEMC was tasked with overseeing all online and hybrid courses. This includes approving curricular changes when a class is transitioned to a hybrid or online format, as well as ensuring that faculty are adequately prepared for teaching in what may be an unfamiliar environment. Becoming certified provides faculty with an orientation to the tools and resources needed to ensure a foundation of quality standards.