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Certificate in

eLearning Design

Become an effective online learning designer and gain the skills and expertise needed to increase your marketability in this growing field with a program designed for busy working professionals.


Design with Purpose

The Certificate in eLearning Design prepares and empowers educators, trainers, and all aspiring professionals to effectively design online courses and learning modules in a wide variety of fields including higher education, K-12, corporate training, and various public and private industry sectors.

You can look forward to experiencing firsthand the evolving contemporary practice and trends in online learning design, innovation, and theories in addition to creating optimized learning materials for the virtual learning environment. Throughout the program, you’ll focus on learning innovative design principles, methods, and systems so that you can build training modules or online curriculums in any online work environment.

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Selected by The Princeton Review as a "Best in the West" college

Top 25 Online Schools

Ranked as No. 3 Among California's Best Online Colleges


Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Advance at Your Own Speed

The eLearning Design Certificate’s flexible and online format is perfect for busy working professionals like you, because it allows you to participate on your own time. In fact, all courses are offered asynchronously which means you’ll never have to log in to your class at any specific time.

With a completely online program, you'll gain firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be an online student, allowing you to apply your experience when you design your very own online course or module. And just because you’re an online student, doesn’t mean you won’t have the opportunity to expand your professional network. Throughout the program, you’ll work on tasks in small groups to problem-solve, collaborate, and interact with other professionals from around the world.

An Expanding Range of Opportunities

The demand for online education has continued to grow since the late 1990’s, and the need for qualified instructional designers working in the eLearning industry is ever increasing. The training and skills acquired in the eLearning Design Certificate can transfer into almost any educational or training field, including university, community college, K-12, corporate, government/military, instructional design, and other fields requiring design and online module development.

Furthermore, equipped with your Certificate in eLearning Design from an accredited university, you’ll show potential employers that you have the specific training and professional development needed to excel in the eLearning field.

Occupational Trends

$64K+ Salary

The median advertised salary for e-learning instructional designers was $64.9K in 2020.
—QCEW Employees - Emsi

Market Growth

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those with experience developing online and mobile training programs.
—Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

In-Demand Skills

In 2020, instructional design was a top in-demand skill for training and development specialists and managers, instructional coordinators, and postsecondary teachers.
—QCEW Employees - Emsi

How can an eLearning Design Certificate impact your career? »

Become a Dynamic Designer

Here’s what you should expect to achieve as a student in the eLearning Design Certificate program:

  • Assess characteristics of online learners and components of an online teaching & learning environment.
  • Synthesize an effective online teaching and learning environment based on current research, recent innovative ideas, and best practices.
  • Apply teaching strategies, learning theories, and design models to online curriculum development.

As a Cal State East Bay graduate, you’ll leave the program equipped with the tools necessary to design dynamic and effective online teaching and training materials from beginning to end, making you invaluable in any workplace.

A Strong Foundation to the Master of Science in eLearning

If you are interested in continuing your education in the future, earning your eLearning Design Certificate fulfills the initial three course requirements of Cal State East Bay’s MS in eLearning (MSeL), a program accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. You will only need to complete an additional seven courses to earn the master’s degree.

Accessible Anytime, Anywhere

Each course in the eLearning Design program is offered in eight-week sessions and conveniently offered online. Classes have a start and end date, and specific assignments with due dates in most weeks. Once you log in to Blackboard, you will find a syllabus and instructions on how to start working on the course.

All courses are asynchronous, which means you never need to log in at a particular time or on a particular day, though you will need to log in 3-4 times a week in order to complete your individual and group assignments and to participate in discussions.

With a completely online program, you can look forward to communicating with your instructors and advisors in a variety of ways: e-mail, telephone, chat room office hours, and videoconference. A high-speed Internet connection is strongly recommended.

Certificate Requirements

To earn your eLearning Design Certificate, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 15 semester units (5 courses) of approved graduate work, subject to the following conditions:
    • All units must have been earned within the past five (5) years immediately preceding completion of the requirements for the certificate.

Please note, the department requires that all courses in the certificate program be taken for a letter grade. No CR/NC grades for courses will be accepted towards the certificate requirements.

Course Schedule

View the latest course schedules here.

Course Units
OTL 601: Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning 3
OTL 602: Instructional Methods for Online Instruction 3
OTL 604: Designing Curriculum for Online Instruction 3
OTL 608: Critical and Contemporary Practice in eLearning Design and Technology 3
OTL 672: Content Development for Online Learning 3

Who will you be learning from? Meet your professors. »

Jesse Boeding

EDD  University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education

MSED University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

BA Luther College

Jesse Boeding


Recognized for creating innovative tools, processes, and protocols to facilitate student-centered initiatives that provide accountability and scale to student services teams, Jesse Boeding has twenty years’ experience developing and running programs in higher education as well as in the corporate environment focusing on training, outsourced support, and research management. With an eye on data, she is now exploring how emerging technologies can provide a personalized experience for students, while simultaneously creating the space for personal, high quality one-on-one engagement with professional student services professionals.

David Dodick


David Dodick, Ph.D. is an educator specializing in language, literacy, and technology who has studied the implications for native and non-native speaking students of teaching and learning in the digital era. He created one of the first cross-cultural learning projects on the Internet, linking 171 students and teachers in four countries and two languages.

Prior to joining Cal State East Bay, Dr. Dodick worked with clients including the Stanford Graduate Schools of Education and Business, and Silicon Valley technology firms. He has taught at San José State University, Stanford University, and Carnegie Mellon University - Silicon Valley.

Professor Dodick holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Toronto, an M.S. in education from the University of Rochester, and a B.A. in commerce from the University of Toronto. He obtained his K-12 teacher certification in New York State and Ontario, Canada.

Anne Guptill


I have a passion for online teaching and learning.

Anne Guptill, Ph.D. is an instructional design consultant, multimedia development, online developer, and teacher. With many years of experience in systems design, development, integration, management, and training, she has been dedicated to technology-based training and education, developing custom web-based training and education courses. She has been developing web-based courses since 1998 and has been teaching online since 2001. Professor Guptill  lives in the SF Bay Area and teaches in the MS. Ed. program (online teaching and learning option) at Cal State East Bay.

Datta Kaur Khalsa


Professor Datt Khalsa holds a Masters of Education with a specialty in Online Teaching and Learning from Cal State East Bay.  She has been teaching for this program since her graduation in 2001. Professor Khalsa went on to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the field of Language, Literacy and Culture. She has been involved with administration, program development, and teacher training for over 35 years and has K-12 and extensive higher education teaching and administrative experience.  Her conference presentations and publications include research on social media in the classroom, assessment, online education, virtual teamwork, global online communities, and cross-cultural communication in multidisciplinary K-12 curriculum.

Brenda McDorman


Engaging activities. Active Learning. Inspired teachers and learners. Real world connections. Increased creativity. Thinking outside the box! ~These are a few of my favorite things!

Brenda McDorman embraces life long learning, no matter the delivery. She has been involved with designing online course delivery and teaching online since 2006. She has also led instructional design for staff at William Woods University (Fulton, Missouri) in converting courses to an online environment. In addition to teaching online, she was involved in developing online courses for the MED Teaching and Technology program.

Prior to joining the online environment, she was an elementary teacher and also taught gifted learners in the K-12 program. Before her retirement from public education, she was the district instructional technology coordinator, leading professional development workshops supporting integrating technology into the curriculum. She is a Certified eMINTS Educational Technology Specialist.

Sherry McCarthy


The best part of teaching is transitioning the students to take over and educate themselves.

Sherry McCarthy, Ed.D. is a retired professor of education and vice president of Academic Affairs at William Woods University in Fulton, MO, where she helped develop the online learning programs.

She currently serves as an online instructor, consultant, and peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission. Dr. McCarthy has been an educator for over 40 years serving in roles from high school biology and English teacher to director of assessment to graduate education online courses. She received an Ed.D. in Higher Education Curriculum Development from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Monica Munoz

MS Ed.

Education is Freedom. – Paulo Freire

Monica Munoz is a Senior eLearning Specialist who has worked within the CSU system for the past five years. Currently, she works in the Office of the Online Campus at Cal State East Bay supporting faculty in implementing quality standards. Her passion lies in reducing the cost of instructional materials for students and continuously improving online courses to increase student success. She has contributed to the field of online learning by co-authoring “Reenvisioning an Instructional Design System for Higher Education”, which provides an alternative, comprehensive instructional design model for online architects. Munoz has also presented at several education conferences including: UPCEA, eLearning and Innovative Pedagogies conference, Blackboard World, Textbook Affordability Conference and Quality Matters.

Cheryl Saelee


Cheryl Saelee has worked as a program development coordinator and a distance education manager for a small vocational college before coming to California State University, East Bay as a Senior eLearning Specialist. For the past eight years, she has worked with online faculty to enhance instructional delivery, improve learner assessment strategies, and mitigate the inherent barriers of online learning. Saelee obtained her Masters in Public Policy from Mills College, Oakland, CA. She has co-authored “Reenvisioning an Instructional Design System for Higher Education” which describes best practices developed at Cal State East Bay for developing online courses. Saelee has also presented at numerous conferences including Quality Matters and eLearning and Pedagogies conference, and she recently accepted a Catalyst Award for Leading Change at the Blackboard World conference.

Melanie Shaw


Melanie Shaw has spent the past two decades teaching and serving as an administrator in online higher education settings. She serves as an adjunct faculty at several institutions and facilitates webinars for the Online Learning Consortium. In addition to her teaching roles, she trains faculty to develop and deliver courses online, conducts research on topics related to nontraditional education, and is involved in strategic leadership relative to the vision for online education.

Shaw’s primary research interests include online teaching and learning, organizational leadership, and distance learning instructional practices. She is the author of several books, articles, and chapters including: An Evaluation of Student Outcomes by Course Duration in Online Higher Education; Establishing an Online Professional Development Community to Promote Faculty Engagement and Excellence; Distance Learning Courses: A Survey of Activities and Assignments; and Online Course Activities: A Survey of Assignment and Assessment Types. She is the winner of the Wagner Award for Outstanding Instructional Support and the Online Learning Consortium’s Effective Practice Award.

Shaw received a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Teaching from Northcentral University, a master’s degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University, and a second master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of West Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and Music from Excelsior College. She holds teaching certificates in online teaching, elementary education, and guidance counseling. She is married to a fantastic jazz musician and has two adult daughters.

Meg Taggart

MS Ed.

Even bad news can be good news to have-create opportunities for feedback!

Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” The mastery of a good teacher is not only to express a concept simply but to find multiple ways to express it. This can include being open to the co-creation of expression in a constructive learning environment.

Meg Taggart obtained an MS in Education with a concentration in Online Teaching and Learning at California State University, East Bay in 2011. In 2006, she completed a Multimedia Design Certificate Program that inspired her passion for creating engaging eLearning content.

In addition to teaching, Taggart is an instructional designer, academic technology consultant, and learning management system administrator at CSUEB. She is a certified Quality Matters higher education teacher training facilitator.

Her prior roles in education included the design of an Early Childhood Environmental Education program for teachers, as well as operations management and marketing functions.

Martins Shinkut


Dr. Martins Shinkut is a tenured professor of Technology Education/Computer Information Systems (CIS), graduate coordinator of MBA in Management Information Systems (MIS), and coordinator of an internship program. He served as technology coordinator for a public school district in Missouri and helped in developing online teacher education curriculum.

Dr. Shinkut holds a Ph.D. in Business Technology Education with a concentration in Business Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research and research interests include job satisfaction of business education faculty of higher institutions, influence of information technology on the 21st century schools, online vs. traditional education, information technology risks, security and disaster recovery, influence of technology in social networking, enhancing portfolio with computer graphic design using Adobe Photoshop, cloud computing, and computer application using Microsoft Office, among others. Dr. Shinkut was also nominated for the Governor’s award for excellence in teaching/education.

James Thomas


James W. Thomas, PhD is a tech writer, college instructor, developer, and researcher with interests in learning design, evaluation, arts and technology, hardware UX, and human performance (human factors).

His PhD is from Arizona State in Educational Technology with a concentration in Arts, Media, and Engineering. His first ecomm site went live in 1997. He is also a musician who's either performed or shared a stage with an eclectic group of musicians ranging from Jazz great Sarah Vaughn to Metal icons Testament, to pioneering performance artist Rachael Rosenthal.

He developed and taught several music and media classes at ASU.

Roger Wen


Dr. Roger Wen is the founding Sr. Director of the Online Campus at California State University, East Bay. He oversees the campus online teaching and learning operation. Part of his duties include but not limited to the learning management system (LMS) and third-party tools that connect with Blackboard (e.g., Zoom, TurnItIn, Panopto, Smart Sparrow, SoftChalk). Dr. Wen was previously the funding dean of the online campus at a private university in Missouri. He was also a tenured professor with educational training in Business Administration, Human Resource Development, and Instructional Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Technology Teaching/Information Science from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

Karen Yoshino


The surge in demand for instructional designers is here! And I want to be a part of it!

Dr. Karen Yoshino is a subject matter expert in competency-based education program design, outcomes assessment planning and design, online program strategy, and analytics for program improvement. In addition to her consulting experience in US higher education, corporate and government sectors, she has worked with clients in Hong Kong, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. In addition to consulting, Dr. Yoshino has served on accreditation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has served as the Executive Director of the SAT at the College Board in New York City. She earned her doctorate in Education (Higher Education Leadership) at Claremont Graduate University.

Olena Zhadko


Design learning for all!

Dr. Olena Zhadko is a dynamic digital learning strategist devoted to advancing the human capital through eLearning. In the last fifteen years, she has provided leadership in designing online learning experiences, infusing best practices into curriculum development, delivery, and assessment through the effective use of technology. Zhadko consults on the topics of strategic growth and scaling of online programs, building capacity and infrastructure for online education, quality assurance and assessment, regulations and compliance for distance learning, instructional and course design, online faculty development and preparation for teaching online, online mentoring, open educational resources, and digital learning.

Zhadko earned her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Teaching and Learning and a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Some of Zhadko’s recent publications include the Routledge’s book "Best Practices in Designing Courses with Open Educational Resources (OER)" (2019), as part of the Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Series and two chapters for the edited book, "The Learner-Centered Instructional Designer: Purpose, Process, and Practicalities of Creating Online Courses in Higher Education" (Quinn, J., ed. , 2020) with Stylus Publishing.

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Jesse Boeding

Jesse BoedingEd.D.

David Dodick

David DodickPh.D.

Anne Guptill

Anne GuptillPh.D.

Datta Kaur Khalsa

Datta Kaur KhalsaPh.D.

Brenda McDorman

Brenda McDormanEd.S.

Sherry McCarthy

Sherry McCarthyEd.D.

Monica Munoz

Monica MunozMS Ed.

Cheryl Saelee

Cheryl SaeleeMPP

Melanie Shaw

Melanie ShawPh.D.

Meg Taggart

Meg Taggart MS Ed.

Martins Shinkut

Martins ShinkutPh.D.

James Thomas

James ThomasPh.D.

Roger Wen

Roger WenPh.D.

Karen Yoshino

Karen YoshinoPhD.

Olena Zhadko

Olena ZhadkoPh.D.

Join the Program

If you hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and have earned at least a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in all upper division/post baccalaureate coursework, you are welcome to enroll.

No application is needed to join the Certificate in eLearning Design. However, you must confirm you have a bachelor's degree (from any major or discipline). Please email a copy of your unofficial transcript or diploma to:

Please note, if you hold a baccalaureate degree from out of the country, you must have your transcripts evaluated by the International Admissions Office.

Once you complete the five required courses with an overall GPA of 3.0, you will be awarded a digital certificate that can be shared through networking sites like Linkedin.

Still have some unanswered questions? Visit the Support section for additional program information. »

Upcoming Info Sessions

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
5:00-6:00 PM PST

Common Questions

What are the basic computer and technical skills I should have to be a successful online student in the program?

In addition to having a reliable computer and internet connection, the basic technical/computer skills you must have before taking our courses include knowing how to: use various browsers and search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Firefox); use advanced search commands and evaluate web resources for authority, currency, purpose, and content; install and update software; and save and retrieve files in various formats (Word, .pdf, etc).

General knowledge on how to use programs for creating and editing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets are important, and Microsoft Office programs (i.e., Word, PowerPoint, Excel) are widely used.

You should also take the Online Readiness Self-Assessment to see if our online classes are a good fit and if you have the aptitude and basic computer skills necessary to be a successful online student.

What are the requirements to complete the eLearning Design Certificate program?
To earn your eLearning Design Certificate, your overall GPA must be a 3.0. The minimum grade you can earn in a course is a “C”.
How long will it take to complete the eLearning Design Certificate Program?
You can complete the entire program in as little as 16 weeks or spread out over 2 - 3 semesters.View eLearning Design Certificate completion ideas.
If I decide to complete my Certificate at a later time, will my courses expire?
Yes. Courses older than five years cannot be counted towards the Certificate. You must re-take all the courses that are five years or older.
Do I need to come to Cal State East Bay's campus to complete the Certificate in eLearning Design?
Courses in the eLearning Design Certificate program are completely online and campus attendance is never required or needed to complete the program.
Will there be a notation on my transcript that I earned the eLearning Design Certificate?
Completion of a certificate program is recognized by the awarding of a certificate. There is no notation about the eLearning Design Certificate on your permanent record. (The courses will, of course, be on your transcript.) Usually, a combination of the certificate and an official transcript is proof that you have completed the certificate. You can share your earned digital certificate on various networking sites like Linkedin.
Can the eLearning Design Certificate Program courses be applied to the corresponding Master's program?
Yes. However, only 9 semester units (equivalent to 3 courses) can be transferred into the MS in eLearning degree program. Your overall GPA must be a 3.0 for the 3 courses you want to transfer into the degree program. The minimum grade you can earn in a course is a “C”. We highly recommend that you apply to the MS degree program during your first semester in the certificate program to ensure all your units will be counted towards the master's degree. Please contact if you have any questions.
If I decide to pursue the MS program, how old can my certificate courses be?
The Certificate courses applied to the MS in eLearning program cannot be older than five years. All units must be earned within the five calendar years immediately preceding the receipt of your degree. For example, if you will graduate in Summer 2010 the oldest course you can use towards the MS degree should have been earned in Summer 2005. Contact for more information.
What can I expect from a class in this program?
Each online class has a start and end date, and specific assignments with due dates in most weeks, so they are not self-paced. Each class begins on the day specified in the schedule; once you log in to Blackboard, you will find a syllabus and instructions on how to start working on the course.

All courses are asynchronous. Participants in these courses need not be online and in the course at the same time. You never need to log in at a specific time or on a particular day, though you will need to log in 3-4 times a week in order to complete your individual and group assignments and to participate in discussions.


Is Financial Aid available?
Traditional Financial Aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for Continuing Education certificate programs. However, there may be other options available to you. Learn more about other financing options.
How much does each course cost?
Each course in the certificate program costs $1,326 regardless of residency (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time). The course fee is due when you register.

Digital Certificate

How do I obtain my digital certificate?
To obtain your official digital certificate, you must complete all requirements of your program. Once the system has verified that you have completed all required courses with a “C” or better and have an overall 3.0 GPA, a digital certificate will be awarded to you at the end of your term of completion.

Accessibility Services

Does the university provide accessibility services?
Yes, our Accessibility Services department provides academic accommodations and support services to address the individual needs of students with differing abilities, permanent disabilities or temporary disabling conditions. For more information, including program details and contact information, visit

Drop and Withdrawal Policy

What is the Drop, Refund, and Withdrawal Policy?

You may drop courses online using MyCSUEB until the end of the University’s Drop Period. After the Drop Period ends, you must complete a Withdrawal Form with an authorized signature from the department responsible for the course(s) until the Withdrawal Deadline. Please refer to the University website for deadline information. Submit the completed form to

The date that the withdrawal request form is submitted to the University Records Office determines the amount of a refund. Please see the chart to determine the amount refunded.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment you inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of study: Certificate in eLearning Design

Ideal for: Educators, instructors, trainers, staff, and aspiring professionals who want to effectively design online courses and learning modules in a wide variety of fields including higher education, K-12, corporate training and various public and private industry sectors.

Program format: Online

Number of courses: 5 courses

Program length: As little as 16 weeks

Tuition fees: $6,630; $1,326 per course (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)


Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the eLearning Design program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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