Online Education

The Online Education emphasis area prepares you to design, develop, and provide effective online learning experiences in a variety of settings.

The Online Education emphasis area focuses on the following competencies:

  • Designing online learning environments, activities, and assessments for meaningful learning
  • Designing, facilitating and evaluating online discussions
  • Promoting student engagement and motivation in online learning environments
  • Understanding unique characteristics of online learning environments
  • Selecting appropriate technology tools and learning objects to support online learners
  • Using learning management systems to support and deliver online learning
  • Seeking for and evaluating Internet-based information and resources that can be used to enhance online learning
  • Organizing course materials in an online format
  • Delivery mode: 100 percent online
  • Credit hours: 30
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated program cost: $12,494.70*
    *This is an estimate for illustrative purposes only; hours and fees will vary. See more about tuition and financial aid.
Your program of study consists of 30 graduate credit hours. At least 15 credit hours must be at the 9000 level.

Required Courses (17 cr. hr.)

  • 9450: Introduction to Research in ISLT (3)
  • 9485: Designing Online Learning (3)
  • 9484: Teaching Online Courses (3)
  • 9471: Instructional Systems Design (3) – Prerequisite for 9485 or taken concurrently
  • 7361: Introduction to Digital Media (3)
  • 9483: Capstone: Online Education Emphasis Area (1)
  • 7373: Exploring Moodle (1) OR 7374: Exploring Canvas (1)

Approved Electives (13 cr. hr.)

Credit hour limitations:

  • A maximum of six hours of transfer credits
  • A maximum of 12 hours of Problems courses (ISLT 7085 or ISLT 9085)

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When you are accepted into the program, you will be assigned a faculty advisor. Email your advisor to begin the program planning process.

Use the Learning Technologies Advising Aid for the Online Education Emphasis Area for Students Admitted SP20 and later to guide your program planning. This aid provides information on the steps you go through in your program: getting started, planning your program of study and capstone preparation. It also lists required and elective courses.

Master of Science: Develop your program using the M-1 (OE) Program of Study Form, available on the Learning Technologies Master Degree Forms page. This form establishes the courses required for you to earn your degree. It must be approved by your advisor. The M-1 form should be filed with the student coordinator by the end of your second semester in the program.
Educational Specialist: Develop your program using the S-2 (OE) Program of Study Form, available on the Learning Technologies Specialist Degree Forms page. This form establishes the courses required for you to earn your degree. It must be approved by your advisor. The S-2 form should be filed with the student coordinator by the end of your second semester in the program.

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You will meet the LT Goals and Objectives throughout your program; however, the Online Education (OE) emphasis area culminates in a capstone course project showing mastery of the OE competencies. The capstone is used as the comprehensive exam at the end of the program of study. Students should enroll in the capstone course during the last semester of their program.


You must enroll in the one credit hour 9483 Capstone: Online Education. The capstone is designed as the means for you to synthesize your learning and demonstrate mastery of the competencies for this emphasis area.

Although each capstone project will be as unique as the individuals in the Learning Technologies program, all share the following elements:

  • Design and development of an online course (or redesign/development of an existing online course)
  • Evaluation of the course by two external reviewers
  • Report including evaluation results, your reflection and critique

How Is the Capstone Project Created?

After enrolling in 9483 Capstone: Online Education, immediately notify your advisor about the online learning environment you will use for your project. Most students will request that a course is set up on a learning management system such as CourseSites, Canvas or Moodle. After creating your online course, you are responsible for finding two reviewers who will provide feedback you should use to improve your course before submitting for faculty review.

How Is the Capstone Evaluated?

Three SISLT faculty members evaluate a student’s capstone project. The review process asks two basic questions:

  • Has the student fulfilled the requirements of the capstone course?
  • Has the student demonstrated adequate mastery of the competencies?

Faculty reviewers do not consider your evaluators’ data, only the online course and your report. Additionally, consideration is given to the entry knowledge and skills of the student and the student’s professional goals. If a capstone project is found to be lacking, the student is given the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments (e.g., make improvements to the online course, enhance the instructional products or innovations).
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Before you apply

You may take up to nine hours of SISLT course work prior to being admitted, but:

  • Taking courses prior to applying does not guarantee admission;
  • Be sure to take courses that will be included in your program of study — check with the student coordinator office before enrolling;
  • No more than nine hours will count toward your degree before you are officially accepted into the program.


  • May 1 for summer admission.
  • July 1 for fall admission.
  • Sept. 1 for second 8 week fall courses.
  • December 1 for spring admission.
  • Feb. 1 for second 8 week spring courses.

Course enrollment dates vary from semester to semester. For the most current information, visit the MU academic calendar for dates to remember.

Admission Requirements

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher (A=4.0) on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work
  • Some type of relevant experience
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable): at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based)

If you don’t meet one of the above standards, you could possibly be admitted on probation status. If this happens, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during your first 12 hours of graduate course work, with no grade lower than a B.

How to Apply

  • Prepare electronic versions (e.g., Word files) of your resume and statement of purpose (what you hope your degree will do for you), as well as two letters of recommendation. If you have electronic versions of your two letters of recommendation, you should have these ready as well.
  • Apply using our convenient online Graduate Application system. Be sure to upload your resume, statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation.
  • Provide an official copy of your transcript from the college or university where you received your bachelor’s degree and your TOEFL scores if English is not your first language.
    • Official transcripts should be sent to Graduate Admissions, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211

Admission Decisions

Once all your application materials are in place, we will review your credentials and notify you of the decision. Most decisions are made within a month.

If you must have your admission decision by a certain date, please notify our student coordinator, providing the date and rationale. We will do our best to meet your deadline.
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SISLT Student Services Office
Student Coordinator — Amy Adam
303 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

Toll-free: 877-747-5868
Local: 573-882-4546
Fax: 573-884-0122