Election eLearning Center features online courses, webinars, video tutorials

LANSING, MI--Local clerks and their staff now have a new online training resource that allows them to take courses, view video tutorials and participate in webinars for self-paced learning from the Michigan Bureau of Elections, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced.

The new Michigan Election eLearning Center makes use of the latest distance-learning technology to complement the Bureau of Elections' existing in-person training sessions. It provides manuals and other informational resources in an easily accessible and searchable format. The site also includes collaboration features for Michigan's 1,600 county, city, township and village clerks that promote information sharing through specialized user groups and discussion boards on specific topics. The system allows for individualized learning plans, and progressive training modules targeted at specialized groups, such as new clerks.

''The capabilities of our new online training system are almost unlimited," Johnson said. "We now have numerous tools at our disposal to ensure all Michigan election officials receive consistent and ongoing training on all of the vital procedures and laws involved in election administration.

''I thank Bureau of Elections staff for launching this innovative training tool. It's another great example of the Secretary of State's office using the latest technology to offer excellent service to Michigan residents.''

Many clerks and their election staff people are part-time workers with regular day jobs. These officials will benefit in particular because the site allows them to receive ongoing training resources that they can access at any time.

Examples of topics covered include registering new voters, Election Day management, electronic poll book processing, and military and overseas ballot issuance and tracking. The site is accessible to clerks and their staff by signing up online through the Bureau of Elections.

The bureau worked with Michigan Virtual University®, which was founded by the state, to create and host the site. MVU® operates Michigan Virtual School®, one of the largest virtual schools nationally, and Michigan LearnPort®, which provides professional development to educators.

''We're pleased to be able to partner with the Secretary of State's Office to support this innovative training delivery model for Michigan clerks,'' said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual University. ''It's a great addition to our existing capacity building work to assist Michigan's K-12 community. We are excited about our ability to enable online election working training in the state's 83 counties.''

MVU's Michigan LearnPort, which offers online professional development for the K-12 community, serves more than 75,000 users, recorded more than 30,000 enrollments last year, and features more than 1,200 courses, many of them at no cost. In addition, MVU operates the Michigan Virtual School, which has provided more than 125,000 online course enrollments to more than 500 Michigan schools since 2000.

Published: Thu, May 9, 2013