3 Universities Add PBS TeacherLine for Online Professional Training
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Three universities are adopting online graduate courses from PBS TeacherLine to add to their curriculum for educators. The courses were developed under a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant from the United States Department of Education. The University of Missouri-Kansas City; Washburn University in Topeka, KS; and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO have all begun offering the professional development classes to enable to teachers to acquire the credits they need to maintain their teaching qualifications.
Course topics include reading, math, science, instructional technology, and instructional strategies. Teachers earn graduate credit from the institutions in which they're enrolled. For example, at the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, students can take 15-, 30-, and 45-hour classes for one, two, or three credit hours, respectively. Each credit is $150, plus the student pays a fee for the TeacherLine course itself.
At that university students taking the TeacherLine classes don't have to be admitted to earn credit, since the courses are considered continuing education. However, if they choose to be formally admitted to the institution and have faculty advisor approval, the courses can also be used for graduate degree requirements. Out-of-state students pay in-state tuition, as long as they're enrolled in fewer than six hours during fall, winter, or intersession terms.
The online classes feature video, audio, and interactive content such as online discussions and journals. Specific assignments in the courses relate to the classes where the educator is currently teaching. For example, a course on supporting different learning styles has an assignment in which teachers submit charts identifying the learning styles of each student in their classes and another in which they reflect on technologies that can be used for instruction with specific students in those classes.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.