LANSING — Michigan Virtual University and the University of Detroit Mercy are teaming up to train the next generation of online educators by providing UDM teacher education students the opportunity to experience online teaching at various levels of instruction.

MVU online instructors will provide a student teaching-like experience to UDM education students who enroll in Advanced Instructional Technology: Teaching in the Virtual Environment, a course being offered by UDM this summer to undergraduate and graduate students.

This course is designed to meet the challenge of preparing teachers to successfully engage students and deliver content in the online environment. Face-to-face sessions will be combined with hands-on teaching experience in virtual classrooms through Michigan Virtual School, Michigan’s state sponsored virtual school.

“I applaud the University of Detroit Mercy for taking the initiative to introduce educators to online and blended learning environments,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of MVU. “Increasingly, individuals pursuing a career in the teaching profession will need a practical understanding of instructional strategies and techniques in the world of online learning.”

Both education students and certified teachers will have the opportunity to explore teaching in the virtual setting in this course. Theoretical principles in online teaching and learning will be integrated into using instructional technologies to design and implement various aspects of online teaching in the participant’s specialized content area.

Said Lorri J MacDonald, chair of the department of education at UDM: “MVU teachers win by gaining experience mentoring teacher candidates. UDM teacher candidates win by gaining experience in teaching with the latest embedded technology. Michigan students win by learning from 21st century skilled teachers in their classrooms.”

This course is the second step in an MVU-UDM effort to acquaint teacher education students with the challenges of teaching online. The relationship began last fall when three UDM pre-service students participated in a six-week online job shadowing experience with MVU online instructors.

Earlier this year, six more students completed the shadowing experience. Students who enroll in this course will be entered into online courses with MVU teachers as guest teachers, and will have the opportunity to interact with high school students in Michigan Virtual School courses.

The course will be offered from May 6 through June 22. Full-time educators who enroll in this course are eligible for a 60 percent discount on tuition. Students interested in the course should call (313) 578-0401 for more information. Students must receive instructor approval prior to enrollment.

MVU is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual School, Michigan LearnPort, and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Visit for more information.

The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest private Catholic university, with approximately 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit. Visit for more information.


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