Certified Online Instructor COI the leading designation for online faculty in higher education
Certified Online Instructor (COI)
The cost is just $795 including the three online courses, textbooks, exam, course critique, medal,
plaque and press release.
Group Discount
If you have ten or more faculty, a group rate is available. Please email Tammy Peterson at TammyP@lern.org for a group rate.
Just call us at 800-678-5376 or send e-mail to TammyP@lern.org
Certified Online Instructor > COI Designation
About the COI designation
The Certified Online Instructor designation has been created to serve faculty in higher education
and others teaching online who want to gain recognition for their knowledge skills. The designation was created by a Faculty Advisory Committee working with outstanding experts in online learning engaged in writing and consulting on teaching online.

The designation is a voluntary program. It is not a license. It does not substitute for any other professional degree or program. COI recognition comes from the Learning Resources Network (LERN), an international education association. More than 6,000 faculty have taken online courses from LERN, making us the leading provider of online professional development for faculty in higher
COI Program Requirements
1. Completion of our three core online courses.
- Teaching Online, offered 3 or more times a year. To pass the course, you will need to
a) make one comment a day for five days;
b) take each daily self quiz, passing grade is 80% (you may retake the quiz until you pass).

- Designing Online Instruction, offered twice a year. To pass the course, you will need to
a) respond to discussion activities daily;
b) write a daily journal;
c) develop an abbreviated course plan.

- Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace, offered twice a year. To pass the course, you will need to
a) facilitate one day of discussion;
b) act as a key observer on an additional day of discussion;
c) write a daily journal and summary reflection.

2. Teach at least two online courses yourself.
Simply provide documentation that you have taught at least two online courses. Teaching the same course twice is acceptable. A brochure description, web site, internal list, or web access to the courses will suffice as documentation.

3. Pass a 50-question knowledge test.
The test is based on the critical knowledge areas covered in the three online courses. You may retake the test a second time if necessary. The test can be proctored locally or taken online using a proctor.

4. Have your students evaluate your online course.
You will be given a URL and a code. Your students do a two-question online evaluation anonymously. Student evaluations alone will not disqualify a teacher from COI designation.

5. Have your online course critiqued.
Simply provide us with the URL, username and password to access your course. The course can be critiqued before, during or after it is offered.
Who should participate
Any person who is teaching online should participate. The designation is relevant for faculty teaching totally online, and faculty teaching hybrid or blended courses. The COI designation was created for faculty in higher education, but other teachers are eligible for the program as well.
Why you should participate
There are two reasons why you should participate in the COI program:
- Demonstrate your knowledge. You can demonstrate to others in your institution that
your knowledge about online teaching is benchmarked with a standard of achievement
developed by the leading
thinkers and practitioners in the field.
- Document your expertise. Perhaps the biggest reward is the internal satisfaction of
having achieved this level of knowledge skills.
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