“That’s Awesome!” — Globalizing Higher Education

Wireframe sphere with a red metallic image of the global landmasses upon it.

Great Examples from Online Courses 

What It’s About

Globalizing Higher Education and Research for the ‘Knowledge Economy’ is a jointly created course offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The course looks at the effects and implications of global higher education, as well as some of the factors and influences that lead to change in the worldwide economy. “Global Higher Ed” has awesome multimedia course pages that showcase a great design style.

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Why It’s Awesome

The course designers shifted their approach for this course away from video lectures in favor of a format that feels more like an e-textbook. Beautiful graphics, audio clips hosted on SoundCloud, and tasteful typography help to break up a very long webpage into digestible chunks of information. The image below shows a very intriguing approach to the discussion of one of the course topics: global competency. Each image is related to a very short audio clip from a variety of experts with different backgrounds, each giving their impression, which allows the student to consider multiple perspectives.

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The activity for each unit is also included within the course pages, contrary to most Coursera MOOCs. In several instances, the instructional team chose to offer alternative assignment options to students to complete their weekly activity. They also take an unusual approach to assessing student contributions by leaving it to the student to acknowledge whether they have successfully completed the task at hand.

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Overall, Global Higher Ed has a well-crafted look and feel for the course content, showing once again that video is not a prerequisite to achieve awesomeness!

Justin Johnsen

Author: Justin Johnsen

Justin supports Learning Innovation staff as they assist Duke faculty to develop massive open online courses (MOOCs). He maintains a deep knowledge of the features of the implemented platforms and can also offer suggestions on how to use online tools to achieve teaching goals. Justin is the primary technical liaison for Duke with the Coursera company, and he keeps up to date on the latest platform features and issues to share with our Learning Innovation staff and Duke faculty. He has previously worked closely on 'Introduction to Genetics and Evolution', 'Introduction to Astronomy', 'Medical Neuroscience', 'Understanding 9/11', 'Marine Megafauna | An Introduction to Marine Science and Conservation', and 'Tropical Parasitology' offered by Duke and Coursera.