Online Learning

Online Learning and Teaching Diploma (OLTD)

Distance learning is one of BC's educational growth areas and teachers with expertise in this rewarding field are in popular demand. This graduate program was designed in cooperation with industry professionals and school district distance learning administrators to meet the needs of today's 21st Century online learners.

The innovative OLTD graduate diploma is a two-year part-time, fully-online, cohort-based program which develops confident educators-- competent in the use of existing and emergent technologies to optimize learning opportunities in fully online, blended and technology-enhanced learning spaces. Through digital immersion in a variety of environments, students will explore theory and its practical applications, as well as current and emergent tools and practices to ensure student success.

The program engages a small cohort model and meets industry and school district needs for knowledgeable and skilled distance educators focused on engagement, and achievement.

Learn more about the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma

On successful completion of the OLTD graduate diploma (30 credits), students are offered the opportunity to apply for a seat in VIU’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDL) degree program.

MEDL coursework allows students to research, design and develop an applied Major Project or empirical Data Collection research project. Each option includes the completion of a five-chapter academic thesis paper, including a thorough literature review, on a topic related directly to their diploma studies.

Applications for the September 2024 cohort are currently being suspended.

Please note the OLTD credential does not qualify graduates for BC Teacher Certification.

For further information please contact Faculty of Education Graduate Programs at

These outcomes are intended to strand across all courses and ensure that every course has consistent and common outcomes. Students will:

  • Become familiar with common terms, definitions and elements related to online environments
  • Demonstrate basic competency with design and implementation within a variety of online learning environments and tools
  • Plan learning opportunities most suitable to the strengths and challenges of a variety of environments
  • Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner
    • Incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
    • Select strategies and resources appropriate for environment, learners and learning outcomes
  • Understand, design and commit to student success in online learning environments
    • Design inclusive learning environments
    • Share engagement strategies and tips
    • Engage in mentoring and coaching with educational partners
    • Work with families and students to establish effective learning plans
  • Undertake engagement with environments through online facilitation for effective learning
    • Moderation and mediation
    • Understand how to build rapport and manage groups
      • establish relationships with learners and families
      • build teacher to student rapport
      • engage in building learning communities and communities of practice
  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in online learning
  • Create assessment and evaluation methods/tools most suitable to the strengths and challenges of online environments
  • Scaffold digital citizenship from K-12 to professional level of educators
    • Consider responsibility, accountability and civility in online environments
  • Integrate current cognitive learning and brain-based learning theory
    • Examine current research around best practices and emerging practices
  • Develop practical and technical skills in all phases of concept, development, design, implementation, etc.
  • Develop skills to optimize learning experiences through personalization
    • Based on characteristics, needs, stages of development, current 21st Century personalized learning mandates, etc..
  • Engage in service learning

Lindsay Watford

"I was awarded my current position as the K-7 Coordinator at Island ConnectEd after completing the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma at VIU. I specifically chose the OLTD program because it offered the most comprehensive and well-rounded academic and practical hands-on experience required to successfully work in an Online/Blended school. OLTD is designed to provide students with the most up-to-date theory, perspectives, strategies, techniques, and tools necessary to become an effective online/blended learning specialist."