Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development

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 one option for faculty to meet their individual certification requirement.

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

Certification Waivers

If you have received formal training and certification from a different institution or organization, you can request a waiver of this University requirement. Please note that receiving a waiver requires the approval of your unit head, dean, and the provost's office.

Download the waiver form (Microsoft Word)


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 Council (OEC). The OEC 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.


About Foundations

As part of the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, eLearning and the FTLC are evaluating the future schedule for offering Foundations. More details will be available at a later date. Until then, faculty are encouraged to select from the other certification options provided by the FTLC.

Objectives for Foundations

Throughout this course you will:

  • Reflect on the experience of being an online learner
  • Using Quality Matters standards, demonstrate course alignment in eLearning design  
    1. Write course / content unit objectives
    2. Determine assessments appropriate for the online environment (Formative and/or Summative)
    3. Develop engaging content appropriate for the online environment
  • Identify each “presence” in the Community of Inquiry Framework and integrate them into course development
  • Apply a Quality Standards rubric to a developing unit of content and course site
  • Demonstrate practices of Universal Design and accessibility in course development
  • Demonstrate practices related to copyright, intellectual property, and creative commons for the online environment.
  • Identify ongoing support resources and how to access them