U Maryland System experiments with combining traditional courses with free online lectures

By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun

When some University of Maryland, College Park students return to class for the spring semester, they could be attending lectures, taking quizzes and completing group projects without leaving their dorm rooms. The university is participating in a pilot program that combines massive open online courses with traditional classroom instruction. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently awarded $1.4 million to nonprofit research group Ithaka S+R to study how the state’s university system could incorporate the increasingly popular online courses. “There are two things we’re seeking: new strategies that will improve learning outcomes and lower costs,” said University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan. “We can’t have one without the other.”


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