Faculty Development Opportunity: Earn Your Online Teaching Certificate (provided by the Higher Educational Emergency Relief Funds)

The federal government recently awarded Thomas Jefferson University Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a needs assessment conducted with faculty and feedback from deans and other academic leaders, the University’s Digital Learning Initiative earmarked a portion of those funds for faculty development.

Specifically, the University released funds to support any educator interested and committed to improving their online teaching skills. Faculty can self-select asynchronous micro-courses from one of two providers—Quality Matters (QM) or the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

Both programs provide evidence-based practices and strategies that will empower faculty to design impactful online courses and ensure student success today and in the future.

Both programs are

  • Available fully online
  • Offered through the year
  • Delivered through a facilitated faculty community
  • Designed for all educators seeking to improve their online teaching skills

The University invites all Jefferson educators to take advantage of this professional development opportunity at no personal cost.

Quality Matters

There are seven courses required to earn the Teaching Online Certificate from Quality Matters (QM).

Title of the seven courses:

Gauging Your Technology Skills

Evaluating Your Course Design

Exploring Your Institution’s Policies

Orienting Your Online Learners

Connecting Learning Theories to Your Teaching Strategies

Creating Presence in Your Online Course

Assessing Your Learners

The duration of each course ranges between 1 week and 3 weeks. Learners could earn their certification in as little as 11 weeks if they were to complete the courses sequentially. Use the links above to explore individual course titles, learning objectives, and course duration.

Effective Online Teaching, written by Tina Stavredes, is required reading for the QM program. Jefferson Libraries offers it as an eBook, available via the library website.  A hard copy of Effective Online Teaching is available at Gutman Library.  


Faculty who complete the four ACUE micro-credentials will earn the ACUE Certificate in Effective College Instruction, endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE).

Titles of the four courses:

Designing Student-Centered Courses

Creating an Inclusive & Supportive Online Learning Environment

Promoting Active Learning Online

Inspiring Inquiry & Preparing Lifelong Learners in Your Online Course

ACUE awards separate micro-credentials for each of the four courses that constitute the Effective College Instruction certificate.  ACUE classes begin with a 75-minte synchronous virtual session on Saturdays.

They recommend that participants budget 2-3 hours per week or 12-18 hours total to complete the assigned coursework, including reading, application, and reflection. ACUE micro-courses run between 6-8 weeks. If taken sequentially, learners could earn the ACUE certification in 8 months.

Which certification program is right for me?

Choosing the right program will depend on your time availability and preferred area of concentration within the program. QM is the recognized leader in online teaching certification, and its courses are focused on the mechanics of online learning. The ACUE program provides a liberal arts approach to the course contents but is an in-depth program that will require more time to complete.

Course Schedules

Take a look at the Online Certificate Training Schedules table below for a snapshot of the QM and ACUE courses. Each course name is a clickable link with more details and additional training dates.

Quality Matters Schedule

Course NameDurationWhen Offered
Gauging Your Technology Skills1 weekNov 24 – Dec 1
Dec 1 – Dec 8
Jan 5 – Jan 12
Jan 19 – Jan 26
Jan 26 – Feb 2
Feb 16 – Feb 23
Evaluating Your Course Design2 weeksNov 24 – Dec 8
Dec 1 – Dec 15
Jan 12 – Jan 26
Feb 2 – Feb 16
Feb 23 – March 9
Creating Presence in Your Online Courses2 weeksNov 24 – Dec 8
Dec 1 – Dec 15
Feb 9 – Feb 23
March 2 – March 16
March 23 – Apr 6
Apr 13- Apr 15
Orientating Your Online Learners1 weekDec 1 – Dec 8
Jan 5 – Jan 12
Connecting Learning Theories to Your Teaching Strategies2 weeksDec 1 – Dec 15
March 9 – March 23
March 30 – April 13
Assessing Your Learners1 weekDec 1 – Dec 8
Dec 8 – Dec 15
Jan 12 – Jan 19
Exploring Your Institution’s Policies2 weekDec 1 – Dec 15
Jan 5 – Jan 19
Jan 26 – Feb 9
Feb 16 – March 2

ACUE Schedule

Course nameDurationWhen offered
Creating an Inclusive and Supportive [Online] Learning Environment6-8 weeks
Jan 22
March 26
June 4
Promoting Active Learning [Online]6-8 weeksJan 22
March 26
June 4
Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners [In Your Online Course]6-8 weeks
Jan 22
March 26
June 4
Designing Student-Centered Courses6-8 weeks
Jan 22
March 26
June 4

How do I register?

To sign up for QM, complete the online registration process on the QM website. Enter your Jefferson email address when signing up, and the Academic Commons will receive the invoice for payment.

To sign up for ACUE, complete the online registration process. Enter the Scott Memorial Library address (1020 Walnut Street, Scott Memorial Library, Philadelphia, PA 19107) as the billing address.

Forward the email you receive from ACUE titled “Congratulations on your acceptance (ACUE Open Enrollment Course) to Anthony.Frisby@jefferson.edu for payment.

For more information, contact Dr. Anthony Frisby at Anthony.Frisby@jefferson.edu.