By Priscilla Alvarez
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are gaining traction as more universities expand the availability of these courses in the next year.
MOOCs offer opportunities for individuals that want to educate themselves on particular subjects without having to pay. Different from online courses — which require the participant to pay and be a registered student of the school — MOOCs are available for public access and can serve thousands of participants at once.
Cornell University is among many universities expanding the number of MOOCs that they offer. Based on the success of MOOCs offered last spring, Cornell is adding four new courses in 2015.
“We want to engage our faculty in efforts like this to want to continue to offer four each year,” says Joseph Burns, dean of the University Faculty at Cornell University.
Cornell University offered their first four MOOCs last spring, serving more than 55,000 people worldwide, according to a university news release. While the courses are still available for viewing, the university is adding courses to go live in the spring.
The response from faculty encouraged the addition of courses. Professor Marianne Krasny is preparing for her first MOOC at the university in the spring.
Krasny is teaching Civic Ecology: Reclaiming Broken Places, which will cover human interaction with ecological systems as well as provide service learning opportunities.
“Students in our MOOC would actually locate one of these practices in their local areas and participate in some of these activities and, at the same time, they’ll be creating a story of what they’re doing,” Krasny says.
[ Full article available at USA Today: http://college.usatoday.com/2014/11/05/cornell-to-add-massive-open-online-courses-in-2015/ ]