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Cleary University now offering degree program for educators to learn how to teach online

Teachers forced to turn in-person lesson plans into online courses

DETROIT – As teachers around Michigan work to navigate the uncertain times of the coronavirus (COVID-19), online learning will continue to increase in popularity. As a result, universities are coming up with curriculums to help teachers educate online.

When the pandemic hit in March, teachers were forced to turn their in-person lesson plans into online courses.

“Teaching online is not something that we foresee -- or at this point, most foresee -- going away any time soon,” said Emily Barnes, president and CEO at Cleary University.

That’s why Cleary University is launching a new degree program: MBA in e-learning design and instructional technology management.

“In the past, what we saw was taking the on-ground class and throwing it online somehow -- first going to try to mimic it,” Barnes said. “That can’t be done, right, because it’s an online learning experience, so it has to be designed uniquely for the online learning experience.”

“Things like creating an outline, engaging learning environments, creating connections between students, between faculty, creating channels and resources to bring other people’s voices to the forefront,” Cleary University Instructional Design Manager Kirsten Shepard said.

Barnes said this degree will be beneficial for teachers of any grade, and the material is will be hands-on.

“So students will not learn content,” Barnes said. “They will be doing a lot, because that’s what it requires, is hands-on skill application.”

The goal is to create a learning experience that’s unique to online

“There’s all of these pieces of how the world connects and how people learn and how we can adapt that for online learning and really create something brand new that you couldn’t get in a classroom,” Barnes said.

While teachers learn to teach at home, parents will continue to learn how to let their children learn at home, too.

“You’ve got to let it be messy,” Shepard said. “I’m going to say that first because I’m a mom. You know, the house is a wreck a lot of the time you’re homeschooling with your kids at home, and they’re going to be learning online, so what does that look like? It’s going to be a little bit messy.”

There is still time to sign up for the class. Click here if you’re interested. Classes start at the end of August. The average time it would take to get that MBA would be between 12 and 18 months.


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