Clemson’s College of Education works with Clemson Online to develop an asynchronous online graduate degree
The College of Education’s Master of Education in teaching and learning online degree program began accepting students in May 2016, but work on developing and optimizing the program began long before that. Faculty in the College of Education collaborated with Clemson Online to develop the program and chose to certify all courses through ENCORE.
ENCORE is a course evaluation tool that measures the experience of students, navigationally sound design, collaborative learning, ongoing faculty presence, relevant application and engaging content. According to Jeff C. Marshall, professor and assistant chair in the teaching and learning department, Clemson Online’s detailed feedback allowed the department to shape a truly exemplary online program.
“There was a great synergy between program faculty, Clemson Online’s support team and the provided technology and resources,” Marshall said. “Together we’ve managed to create a top-notch master’s program that provides a high quality education with superior technology to interface with students.”
The program is the first to deliver asynchronous, ENCORE-certified courses to students. Marshall and other College of Education faculty worked with Clemson Online’s e-learning strategists to design courses in Canvas, the university’s new learning management system. ENCORE certification required a rigorous blind review process to generate recommended revisions, so adjustments both major and minor were needed to achieve certification in all courses offered.
According to Ginny Hall, Clemson Online’s deputy director of partnerships and program development, the faculty had a clear idea from the beginning of the process regarding the kind of program they wanted to develop. They worked with e-learning strategists to include enriching videos, helpful reading materials, virtual collaboration opportunities and relevant assessments that would define the program for all learners.
Marshall said the program affords professional and personal benefits for students across the globe. He said aside from making teachers more competitive in their fields and eligible for higher compensation, the degree allows teachers to become a curriculum specialist, department chair or instructional coach. He pointed out that the program’s convenience is an obvious benefit to teachers with school, family and home lives that are already daunting to juggle.
A competitive tuition rate and convenience are all great selling points, but Marshall said the team has prioritized alignment with the college’s mission above all else. The asynchronous nature of the coursework and the fact that teachers are required to apply their studies in classroom settings allows the program to fall even more in line with that mission and its overall goal of outreach through education.
“The College of Education seeks to work with underperforming schools and underserved communities,” Marshall said. “This online program will allow teachers in many areas, such as rural communities, to access educational opportunities they would otherwise miss out on.”
The master’s program is comprised of 30 credit hours of coursework and contains two major components. The first component is 18 hours of core pedagogical course work. The remainder consists of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) courses. Teachers can still obtain a STEAM certificate online, but the department encourages pursuit of the complete master’s program.
Hall said Clemson Online looks forward to working with other departments and faculty in the development of ENCORE certified courses and programs. For more information, contact Clemson Online at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.