University of Melbourne Newsroom 19 September 2012
The University of Melbourne has become the first Australian university to join the online course provider Coursera, which comprises universities such as Princeton and Stanford in the US and offers free subjects to “anyone, anywhere with a computer and Internet access.”
Melbourne is one of 17 universities joining Coursera this week, bringing the total number of universities partnering with the online course provider to 33. Coursera offers more than 120 subjects from some of the world’s top universities online to more than a million learners around the world.
The e-learning platform makes extensive use of short video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students a unique learning experience.
Melbourne will begin putting single subjects online early next year and expects to have about 10 subjects available through Coursera by the end of 2013.
University of Melbourne Provost Professor Margaret Sheil says the university’s
…initial set of subject offerings through Coursera will be diverse, ranging from macroeconomics and animal behaviour to discrete optimization and epigenetics. As well as opening up to online offerings, the University is looking at ways to increase our use of technology in existing campus based courses to improve interactivity and enhance the learning experience for our students on campus.
It is one part of a suite of initiatives in the area of e-learning and online teaching and learning the university is pursuing.
Other initiatives include using technology to enhance interaction and collaboration in existing campus based courses and setting up an e-learning incubator to encourage more agile and rapid development of learning technologies.
*MOOC = Massive Open Online Course