Duke Extend: A New Platform for Creating Online Courses and Modules

Duke faculty and staff can now create online courses or modules on Duke Extend. This platform provides a way to offer learning experiences to Duke students, selected groups of learners within or beyond the university, or even the entire world. These learning experiences can provide anything from an hour of “how to” instruction to a full semester course, support current Duke courses or be used to share information that reaches beyond the Duke curriculum, and they can run continuously or be offered for a specific time period. To learn more about offering online learning experiences on Duke Extend, contact the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT).

How is Duke Extend different than other online platforms like Sakai and Coursera?

Duke Extend allows more flexibility than other Duke learning platforms in determining who can see the content, when the content can be used, and how extensive the content needs to be. For example, instructors can use the platform to host learning experiences that don’t conform to semester length, or share them across multiple Duke classes. This image shows some of the differences among the platforms available at Duke.

a visual representation of the differences among Coursera, Sakai, and Duke Extend
Key Platform Differences

Faculty and Staff Courses Currently using Duke Extend

Duke Extend was piloted by the Center for Instructional Technology and the Office for Information Technology over the past year. Initial funding for the pilot was provided by the Duke Digital Initiative (DDI). Current courses include Introduction to Linux (developed by the Co-Lab), Introduction to Patents at Duke (created by Melanie A. Sturgeon, a former Duke librarian), and 3D Printing at Duke (a course created by Chip Bobbert, Manager of the Multimedia Project Studio and Innovation Studio).

What did CIT learn from the Duke Extend pilot?

With the Duke Extend pilot, CIT explored whether the platform could provide a high-quality, robust learning platform experience by running several course projects of different sizes and evaluating the results. The largest course piloted was Introduction to Astronomy, offered from November 2016 through March 2017. More than 4,100 students from over 60 countries enrolled. 89% of the students who responded to our survey reported a good or excellent experience, and a majority indicated that the platform is intuitive to use.

As the pilot progressed, Duke Extend successfully hosted more extracurricular and co-curricular courses within the University community, such as the Introduction to Git course offered by the Duke Co-Lab and the course 9/11 & Its Aftermath, offered to Duke Alumni in the fall of 2017.

The positive results across a wide range of course types and audiences convinced CIT that Duke Extend could be a useful addition to Duke’s learning platform offerings.

Who should consider Duke Extend?

  • Faculty and non-faculty instructors who want to reach people outside of a standard Duke course, including alumni, staff, or students who don’t all share one class
  • Instructors who want to try MOOCs outside of Coursera’s standard course plan

More information on Duke Extend

More details about the Duke Extend pilot are available here. For more information on working with CIT to create a course, please contact CIT.