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Central Michigan University offers Perspectives on Pandemics online course


Central Michigan University is offering a one month course to help students understand COVID-19.


In part of the university's Critical Engagment program, Perspectives on Pandemics is a pop-up course that helps explain different ways to look at information about the pandemic. 


According to the university, faculty with expertise in subjects including history, biomedicine, economics and public policy are collaborating to teach the course.


CMU journalism professor, Dr. Edgar Simpson is one of five professors contributing segments. He said his segment discusses news literacy and misinformation in context of the coronavirus pandemic.


"The only way to make good decisions, is to get good information," Simpson said. "Right now, we're living in a time where most of our information is coming through some sort of digital platform and we know that social media could be problematic."


He said the best thing people can do to avoid misinformation is to check sources of information. 


"The primary thing we can do is be aware that there are bad actors out there who are using this health crisis to make money," Simpson said. "They’re doing that by spreading misinformation, trying to get people fearful, trying to sell concocted cures or preventions that have no basis in science."


Thirty-one students are enrolled in the course, according to the university's course registration page. The class began April 6 and ends May 3. 


Tess DeGayner is a student reporter for WCMU News. She is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Journalism and Broadcasting. Her hometown is Fenton, Michigan.