Online Educators Policy

NSU currently provides over 400 online courses and recently received HLC approval for the initiation and expansion of our distance education options. At the Provost's request, the Center for Teaching & Learning has developed and piloted a system of training and support for instructors of online courses to ensure course offerings that are of optimum quality for our students. To this end, Academic Affairs drafted a development plan and policy to train and certify all instructors of online and blended courses at NSU. This plan or policy was vetted by the CTL Advisory Committee, Faculty Council, Department Chairs, and others. The final draft of the NSU Online Educators Certificate Policy (pdf) was approved by Academic Council and is now available.

In this document, you will find the purpose for the implementation of this new policy, definitions of types of distance learning courses, a description of the training, a timeline for implementation, and an outline of the topics to be covered in the training. Contact the Center for Teaching and Learning for more information.

The timeline for training and certification as reflected in the document has been extended. A few things to mention about this certification:

  • Having completed Quality Matters training or training at other institutions does not exempt you from this training.
  • Sections or cohorts of the courses will be offered each month.
  • Enrollment in each section will be first-come-first-serve based on registration through the Online Workshop/Event Registration Form. Space each month will be limited.
  • Each cohort will have specific dates during which to complete the course. If a person does not successfully complete the course during the allotted time, he/she will need to re-register for the next available cohort. A spot will not automatically be reserved during the consecutive cohort.
  • The first course, Online Educators Certificate Part 1, covers the "How To's" of using Blackboard through a series of technical tutorials followed by objectively scored quizzes. To complete, all module quizzes must be completed with a score of 85% or better.
  • The second course, Online Educators Certificate Part 2, covers the Best Practices in online teaching and learning through Blackboard. To complete this course, all learning activities must be completed at an 85% or better score.
  • Upon completion of each course, instructors will receive a formal letter (with a copy sent to the appropriate Chairs and Deans) and certificate.

The availability of these courses require some updates to the deadlines outlined in the Online Educator Certificate Policy (pdf). The originally published dates are being delayed to accommodate the delayed start of the training courses. As such, all NSU instructors must now have completed the Online Educators Certificate Part 1 and 2 prior to teaching an online or blended course.

If you have any questions regarding the policy, please contact Academic Affairs (918-444-2060). If you have any questions regarding the courses, please contact NSU Online (, 918-444-5855).