top of page

Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE)

Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) is an initiative by AEA Learning 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

  • MOLLIE (More Online Learning for Iowa Educators)

  • Mentoring and Induction

  • Community of Practice

OLLIE Foundational Courses


The first component of OLLIE is a 4-course sequence of foundational courses built around best practices in online teaching.  These courses are offered for a reduced rate via a cohort for instructors, and as such are not on our open catalog.  You can see dates and add your name to our registration list here.

Note: To become an instructor for AEA Learning Online, we require that you finish 7 credits within the OLLIE series before teaching, which includes the Online Learning 101 course.  For those interested, please contact Evan Abbey, OLLIE coordinator, for more information.

Online Learning 101 (3 credits)

This course is formerly 2 courses, Introduction to Online Teaching and Technology for Online Instruction, now combined in one.  This 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.  It also gives participants an opportunity to become fluent with learning management systems and an understanding of other technology tools specifically for online instruction.

This course is offered at least twice a year, throughout the year

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.

This course is often offered only in the summer, typically in June.

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.

This course is offered at least twice a year, most often in mid-fall and in May.

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.

This courses is typically offered only once a year, in the spring.

Please reload

MOLLIE (More Online Learning for Iowa Educators)

In 2013, AEA Learning 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.

These courses are also available through cohorts for reduced fees, and you can see dates and add your name to the registration list on the form here.

Blended Learning (2 credits)

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.  Note: This course is the same as Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 2.


This course is offered once a year, typically in the fall.    

Designing Online Lessons (2 credits)

The 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.  Note: This course is the same as Blending/Flipping Your Class 3.

This course is available at least once a year, typically in the summer.

Designing Online Assessments & Activities (2 credits)

This course helps teachers analyze and revise assessments and activities for online instruction through different lenses, including rigor, engagement, formative assessment, and visual design.  Note: This course is the same as Blending/Flipping Your Class 4.

This course is available once a year, in July.

Online Teaching Best Practices (2 credits)

In 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.

Personalized Learning (2 credits)

This course, delivered in a personalized learning format (all asynchronous), looks at the basic components of personalized learning as well as how to implement it within the classroom.  Participants look at adaptive learning software and, separately, create their own personalized plan for learning in the course.

This course is offered at least twice a year.  In addition, unlike other courses, this is also offered on the open catalog.

The Developer's Cohort (2 credits)

This course is delivered in a self-paced course manner, where participants learn how to create completely self-paced learning.  Participants create a completely self-paced module, including interactives and assessments, which are reviewed by the instructor via think-aloud videos.

This course is offered every year from June 1 to July 30, but while the dates are set, it is truly self-paced, as participants can actively start the course at a time that they would like.

Please reload

Mentoring and Induction


In additional to formal courses, AEA Learning Online offers a mentoring and induction program for new online instructors.  This includes instructors for AEA Learning 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.

bottom of page