Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) is an initiative by AEA PD Online, in conjunction with other partners. Its central aim is to deliver quality professional development in online pedagogy to Iowa teachers, and do so in a systemic way.

OLLIE has four different components to it, providing different levels of professional development.

OLLIE Foundational Courses

The first component of OLLIE is a 5-course sequence of foundational courses built around best practices in online teaching.  These courses are offered regularly on our open catalog, as well as for local cohorts of instructors.  

Introduction to the Online Learner 1 Credit A course designed for instructors and non-instructors of online courses alike, it gives educators an opportunity to see how online courses function and what a student must do in order to be successful.
Technology for Online Instruction 2 Credits A course that focuses on the tools an online teacher can use in her classroom. Participants will learn how to build in an LMS platform, how to weave in other tools for productivity, collaboration, and assessment, and a chance to explore other ways of delivering learning activities online.
Online Learning Instructional Design 2 Credits A course that examines the process of creating sound lessons and units online--units that are engaging, interactive, aligned, and focused on end outcomes. Participants will apply their learning by building the introductory and first two units of their own course, either in an LMS or via a unit plan. For those looking to create a course in an LMS, it is strongly advised to take the Technology for Online Instruction course first.
Online Facilitation 2 Credits A course that helps a teacher see all the different considerations that go into teaching online vs. teaching face-to-face.  Everything from how you schedule your week to how you take on different styles/roles in the process of teaching, how you frame your words to how you structure group activity and build classroom culture.  This course involves many interactive scenario-based activities, giving a teacher a taste of the tasks an online teacher faces regularly.
Assessment, Feedback, and Evaluation 2 Credits This course analyzes the methods by which an instructor helps a student understand if they are learning and what else they need to learn. Included in this is how to establish self-assessment and peer-assessment, as well as get participant feedback to improve a course.

AEA PD Online started offering OLLIE in the summer of 2010. Since that inception, more than 1000 teachers have taken OLLIE courses.  

To become an instructor for AEA PD Online, we require that you finish 6 credits within the OLLIE series before teaching.  For those interested, please contact us to find out when the next instructor cohort is being held.

MOLLIE (More Online Learning for Iowa Educators)

In 2013, AEA PD Online launched its MOLLIE series of professional development courses.  These add on to the foundational series, often providing professional development for experienced online teachers, or providing focus on a specific topic.

Blended Learning2 Credit

This course gives an introduction to teachers on what makes blended learning, and what are the best practices for a blended learning classroom. Participants will look at several different models of blended learning, spanning age levels and curriculum areas, and will develop their own plan to bring blended learning to their classroom.                             

Designing Online Lessons2 CreditsThe online lesson is a critical component of the online classroom experience. It requires the delivery of content, activities and student assessment that a student can do on their own, asynchronously. But while an online lesson contains many of the same components as a face-to-face lesson, there are several other important best practices to implement in their creation. This course focuses on the design of both text-based and spoken (or recorded) lessons.
Online Teaching Best Practices2 CreditsIn this course, participants will explore the online teaching standards, look at exemplars in a sample online class, reflect on the exemplars, apply these standards to classes that they are teaching to improve their practices, and discuss hot topics in online teaching practices.
Community Facilitation2 CreditsOnline communities can be powerful tools when it comes to professional development, but how do you grow and nurture an online community? This course will examine issues related to developing and sustaining an online community.
Synchronous Learning2 CreditsThis course looks best practices in synchronous learning and at technology options that can be used to support it.

These courses are also available on our open catalog, as well as through local cohorts.

Drake Certificate in Online Teaching Pedagogy

AEA PD Online is proud to partner with Drake University to provide a certificate in online teaching pedagogy.  This certificate requires 15 credits, including all 9 of the foundational OLLIE series, plus 6 electives (which can either be MOLLIE courses or others in online pedagogy from Drake's catalog).

For more information about the certificate, please visit Drake's website.

Mentoring & Induction

In additional to formal courses, AEA PD Online offers a mentoring and induction program for new online instructors.  This includes instructors for AEA PD Online, as well as for K-12 schools in Iowa.

Mentoring includes partnering a prospective instructor with a veteran one.  We currently have several instructors trained as mentors that are available for different subject areas and audience types.  The mentor helps guide the prospective instructor through the creation process of the course and the delivery of the first course offering.

For more information on mentoring, please contact us.

Community of Practice

In the fall of 2014, we debuted the OLLIE Community of Practice.  This community provides support for instructors by facilitating a community of members, each with a passionate interest in online teaching.  

The community includes, among other things:
  • A calendar of events
  • Community-sponsored webinars
  • Ongoing discussion forums
  • Community-only cohorts for OLLIE & MOLLIE
  • Community-based sharing of resources
  • Access to the lesson building tool SoftChalk
  • And much more
There is no cost to join the community; it is open to all educators interested in online pedagogy.

Current Partners

AEA PD Online is currently partnering with several organizations to extend the reach of the OLLIE professional development and community.  Current partners who are offering localized OLLIE content include:

  • Kirkwood Community College
  • Iowa Learning Online
  • Keystone Area Education Agency
  • Cedar Rapids Community Schools
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Dubuque Community Schools
Find out how your organization can be a partner as well by contacting us today.

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