By Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune
The University of Illinois will offer seven free online courses this fall, giving students around the world a chance to sample an education that costs thousands of dollars in tuition on campus. By teaming up with Coursera, one of several new online education companies, the university will dip a toe into a fast-growing trend in higher education to offer free courses to an unlimited number of students. It’s a low-risk venture compared with the U. of I.’s failed and expensive Global Campus online initiative from several years ago. The Urbana-Champaign campus is one of a dozen universities that on Tuesday plan to announce partnerships with California-based Coursera, joining Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, which joined earlier this year.
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