Stephen F. Austin State University

Instructor Certification, Course Development, & Delivery

Deadlines for Approval of Online Courses

Deadlines for courses that will be taught online for the first time in a Summer or Fall semester:

February 1st -- design plan meeting must be held by this date

March 1st -- final review meeting must be held by this date

Deadlines for courses that will be taught online for the first time in a Spring semester:

September 1st -- design plan meeting must be held by this date

October 1st -- final review meeting must be held by this date

Certified Online Instructors who are planning to develop a course that will be offered in a fully-developed online format for the first time in Spring 2015 must complete a Design Plan Meeting before September 1 in which they present at least two completed instructional modules. Final Review meetings must be held by October 1.

Megan Weatherly, the OIT Instructional Designer, may be reached by email at and by phone at 936-468-1735 to help you schedule and prepare for the meetings. Strongly suggested: Contact Megan at least 2 weeks in advance of the meeting deadlines in order to allow adequate time for scheduling, feedback, and collaboration.

So that we may focus on helping faculty meet the annual March 1 and October 1 deadlines for Final Review, the Office of Instructional Technology does not conduct Design Plan Meetings during the months of February or September.

About Online Instructor Certification

Why Become Certified?

If you teach online at SFASU, or plan to teach online in the future, becoming a Certified Online Instructor makes good sense. The Online Instructor Certification course (OIC course), and the pre-requisite D2L training, will help you learn and practice the technical skills you'll need to teach online as well as the pedagogical skills and best practices needed to design and deliver quality online courses.

In addition to the numerous pedagogical benefits, instructors who are certified to teach online here at SFASU are eligible to receive stipends for the development and delivery of fully online courses.

Becoming a Certified Online Instructor at SFASU

All faculty (including part-time faculty and adjuncts) at SFASU are eligible to become Certified Online Instructors. Staff and GAs may also be eligible to complete the certification course, with permission of their supervisors or Chairs.

The Online Instructor Certification course (OIC course) provides faculty with the pedagogical skills needed for teaching online, including the Principles of Good Practice (PoGP), around which high quality, effective online courses are designed. Course participants will create a single content module in D2L (that could potentially become part of a full online course).

To become a Certified Online Instructor at SFASU, faculty must:

  1. Notify Laura Osborne, the Faculty Training & Certification Coordinator, that they are interested in becoming certified. Laura can be reached by email at or by phone at 936-468-5832.
  2. Complete the pre-requisite D2L training -- a series of 4 face-to-face workshops (8 hours). To register for training, visit the University's myTraining system (
  3. Complete the OIC course. The course runs about 12 weeks each Fall and Spring semester. The course is also sometimes offered once during the Summer if there is sufficient and qualified demand.

Space is limited: Each class may only accept 25 applicants. Please contact Laura Osborne and complete the pre-requisite D2L training as soon as possible to ensure that you are added to the OIC course the next time it is offered.

OIC Course Expectations

There are real deadlines in the OIC course as well as a small amount of group work; these elements are designed to give participants a realistic online course experience, emulating some of what participants' own students will encounter in the future.

The course includes discussions, quizzes, and assignments. The workload is roughly equivalent to a light, undergraduate 3-hour course in that participants will be expected to put in several hours of work per week for most of the duration of the course, with more time possibly being required towards the end when the sample module is due.

OIC Course Dates

Dates for Summer 2014

The Summer 2014 OIC course is already underway and no additional participants will be added.

Dates for Fall 2014

The deadline for completing D2L pre-requisite training for eligibility for entry into the Fall 2014 OIC course and notifying Laura Osborne of your intention to register for the OIC course is Friday, September 12th.

Guides and Forms for Distance Education

There are many things to consider for faculty who are beginning the process to become an online instructor or to develop online courses or programs. The following resources will answer many questions.



Course Forms

Program Request Forms