Graduate Distance Learning Certificate Online

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Distance Learning

Offered By: College of Education


Academic leaders who thought online education was equal to or superior to learning in a physical classroom1


Chief academic officers believed online learning is a critical part of long-term education strategies1

Position Yourself to Lead in the Remote Education Field With a Distance Learning Certificate 

The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Distance Learning at Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers a flexible and convenient way to teach the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate remote education. With focused and concise training that can be completed remotely, you have the opportunity to enhance your professional qualifications at your own pace.

GCU’s graduate-level distance learning certificate is shorter than a graduate degree, allowing for a highly focused approach to advanced education. This online learning certificate program can prepare you with the tools necessary to provide your students with effective remote education.

Benefits of Pursuing Your Online Distance Learning Certificate at GCU

The online distance learning graduate certificate program offers the same advanced level of academic rigor as standard graduate degree programs. Online distance education certificate courses are taught by the same faculty members who facilitate GCU’s graduate programs in education.

In addition to teaching comprehensive skills of distance learning, faculty in this certificate program will teach graduates from a distinct Christian perspective, allowing them to explore the integration of a Christian worldview within the realm of education. Earn your University’s Graduate Certificate of Completion in Distance Learning from GCU. 

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Distance learning is any type of instruction which is performed outside of the traditional face-to-face classroom environment. Distance learning can refer to the remote parts of blended instruction as well as courses which are facilitated entirely online. 2

This form of instruction may also be referred to as online school, remote learning or distance learning.3 Remote education options may exist at all levels of education from Pre-K to PhD. As the capabilities of educational technology expand and increase, distance learning will become increasingly dynamic and effectual.4

Online Distance Learning Certificate Courses and Topics to Expect

Remote education will surely be a long-lasting trend, but that does not mean it is a perfect replacement for in-person instruction. Distance learning provides its own unique set of advantages and opportunities for both instructor and learner. However, fully benefiting from those advantages require specific skills, interventions and solutions.

Throughout GCU’s graduate-level e-learning certificate programs, you will be taught foundational knowledge and skills which may be applied specifically to remote and distance learning contexts. Course topics include:

  • Organization and integration of multimedia tools and resources in school curricula
  • Instructional purposes and roles of technology and media in learning and teaching
  • Processes for selecting and implementing meaningful technologies, virtual tools and other electronic resources
  • Development of digital literacies in teaching and learning
  • Instructional theories and models in technology education, assessment and instructional technology
  • Multimedia instructional strategies and methods for engaging remote learning
  • Selection and evaluation of appropriate multimedia resources
  • Creation and management of distance learning software and tools for a variety of platforms
  • Technology standards for students and teachers

Career Opportunities for Online Distance Learning Certificate Holders

Online distance education certificate holders may have a range of career opportunities available. Depending on the specific field and certificate program, you may have the opportunity to find employment in sectors such as:

  • Business
  • Digital marketing
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Technology

Completing an e-learning certificate program may serve as a valuable addition to you resume, demonstrating your expertise and commitment to the profession. 

Online Distance Learning Certificate FAQs

A graduate certificate can be a convenient and quick way to gain specialized knowledge and skills in a specific field. If you would like more information about this online distance learning certificate, we’ve prepared some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 6 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $605 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

The learning graduate program requires a total of 16 credits for completion. Most of the certificate courses are six weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to complete the program.

Physical presence in a classroom is no longer the only option for effective learning. Although in-person instruction is unlikely to be completely replaced, distance learning remains a powerful and continually evolving tool that can be increasingly incorporated into various educational settings.2

The difficulty of a distance learning graduate program can vary based on individual circumstances and the program’s rigor. It may require self-motivation, discipline and effective time management to balance personal and academic commitments. However, with proper planning, support and dedication, many individuals can navigate and excel in their graduate programs.

According to Indeed Career Guide, online teachers are needed and many teachers prefer a remote teaching position where they have the option to work either full-time or part-time.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for education, training and library occupations to increase by about 7% from 2021 to 2031, as fast as average, accounting for an estimated increase of 658,200 jobs in the field.5

1 Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2015, February). Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Retrieved on June 9, 2023. 

2 TechSmith (n.d.). What is Distance Learning? The Complete Guide. Retrieved on May 26, 2023. 

3 Indeed Career Guide (2022, June 24). 13 Online Teacher Jobs To Consider Today. Retrieved on May 30, 2023.

4 Office of Educational Technology (2017 January). Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved on July 18, 2023. 

5 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Education, Training and Library occupations, retrieved on May 30, 2023.

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course introduces students to technology standards for students and teachers; digital citizenship and responsibility; legal and ethical use guidelines; and transitioning instruction to integrate technology. Technology dispositions, expectations, and guidelines are emphasized. Candidates apply an understanding of design principles in visual communication theory. They incorporate multiple intelligences and constructivist theories into an interactive environment. Attention is given to instructional technology tools and resources.

Course Description

This course focuses on the organization and integration of media in school curricula. Candidates identify instructional purposes and define roles for technology and media in learning and teaching. An emphasis is placed on the processes for selecting and implementing meaningful technologies, virtual tools and other electronic learning resources, and the development of digital literacies in teaching and learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TEC-516.

Course Description

This course focuses on various technology-based assessment tools used for formative and summative assessments. Candidates use tools to make data-driven decisions to drive curriculum and differentiate instruction. The content of this course includes use of digital media for progress monitoring or as assessment tools and creating and using alternative assessments. An emphasis is placed on understanding assistive technology and application in instructional programs and assessment for individuals with exceptionalities. Practicum/Field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course provides candidates with instructional strategies using learning theories. Focus is on developing knowledge and skills to create multiple types of web-based assignments and units for K-12 students using web authoring software. Candidates learn to select and evaluate appropriate multimedia resources, and examine steps for planning, creating, and managing curriculum using software and tools for a variety of platforms. Emphasis is placed on project-based learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TEC-536.

Course Description

This course expands candidates’ knowledge of lesson preparation and activities, as well as basic curriculum development and design principles for distance education. The course explores distance education and online instruction, including history, theories, and practical applications. A variety of online facilitation techniques are explored in this course. An emphasis is placed on understanding distance education development and delivery, exploring the complexities of designing instruction in various distance contexts and applying these concepts in a real-world context through online facilitation. Practicum/Field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This is the culminating course in the Graduate Certificate of Completion in Distance Learning. Students formalize a technology coaching website and reflect on the application of theories and models in technology education, assessment and instructional technology, and multimedia instructional strategies and methods in preparation for distance learning opportunities. Prerequisite: TEC-541.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.