Duke joins 11 other universities in online education experiment

Today Duke announced its plans to partner with Coursera, an educational company started by two Stanford professors last year, in offering online courses free and open to the world. During the next academic year, Duke will offer at least 8 such courses, beginning in fall 2012. Becoming involved in this effort will extend Duke’s expertise to a broader global audience while using technology to also enhance the classroom experience for its students on campus.

The first Duke courses in Coursera are:

A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior (Dan Ariely, Economics)
Bioelectricity, A Quantitative Approach (Roger Barr, Biomedical Engineering)
Introductory Human Physiology (Mimi Jakoi and Jennifer Cabrey, Cell Biology)
Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Marilyn Lombardi, School of Nursing and B.D. Barnes, Biomedical Engineering)
Introduction to Genetics and Evolution (Mohamed Noor, Biology)
Introduction to Astronomy (Ronen Plesser, Physics)
Think Again: How to Reason and Argue (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Philosophy, and Ram Neta, Philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill)
Medical Neurology (Len White, Duke Institute of Brain Sciences)

Coursera courses include presentation of content by faculty via recorded lectures or other methods, graded quizzes and assignments, discussion boards, and other tools to add interactivity to what may be very large online courses (early courses in Coursera each enrolled over 10,000 students from around the world). Students who successfully complete a Coursera course from Duke will be awarded a certificate of completion.

CIT and OIT will be working with the faculty developing the Coursera courses this summer through the following academic year.

Coursera initiated partnerships with four universities in a first phase last year (Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Stanford), and has now partnered with eleven other institutions in addition to Duke to expand its course offerings: the California Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Toronto, the University of Virginia, the University of Washington and two European institutions – the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, and the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.

Look for more information on CIT’s site soon about this initiative.

For more information on Duke’s online courses, click here: http://onlinecourses.duke.edu/.


Amy Kenyon

Author: Amy Kenyon

Amy plans, implements and assesses faculty development programs for the improvement of teaching and learning, provides programs and resources designed to increase understanding of the teaching and learning process and manages personnel and other resources in the Teaching Innovation group of Learning Innovation. Her interests are in student-centered course and program design, curriculum mapping, assessment and engaging teaching strategies for student learning.