Online Learning Update

April 26, 2012

Free online learning Stanford courses: ‘Everything that we’re doing is experimental’

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

by Kathleen J. Sullivan, Stanford University

“It is very exciting and scary and it’s really important for Stanford to get it right, because a lot of places are looking to us,” said Satz, the Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society, in a question-and-answer session following presentations on programs offered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies, Stanford on iTunes U and Coursera. “I know we don’t really know which way is the right way to go,” Satz continued. “One thing I’m interested in is that the first three programs are in-house programs and Coursera is an out-of-house program. MIT, which is also thinking this through, with MITx, [its online education initiative] is doing an in-house version. Provost John Etchemendy said: “We are being very careful to preserve our options. So we haven’t made a decision on that question. Everything that we’re doing is experimental.” Etchemendy said two of the three free online courses offered last fall by Stanford were in-house efforts. (Currently, the Coursera website lists 11 Stanford courses.)

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