Georgia Tech will partner with Coursera

July 17, 2012 at 2:56 am 5 comments

This got emailed to all Georgia Tech faculty late last night.  Figure is from the Inside HigherEd piece on this expansion — which includes University of Virginia.

Dear Colleagues:
Today Georgia Tech will announce a partnership with Coursera, the Stanford University online education spinout that has been much in the news lately.  We will join a small group of highly respected partner universities, including Stanford, Michigan, Princeton, and Caltech in a bold experiment in the future of higher education. With all the talk about the nature and desirability of change in higher education, I think it is significant that some of the world’s best universities have decided to partner in this way.  It also is significant that Georgia Tech is a founding member of this group.
In making this announcement, we are not abandoning our central mission of residential undergraduate instruction. In fact, we view this as an opportunity to remain true to our pledge to define the technological research university of the 21st century by exploring new modes of instruction and operation.  What we learn from the Coursera and other similar experiments will above all benefit our own students and strengthen our existing programs.
Over the past months, I have gathered input from faculty, students, and alumni who have new ideas about online courses and other educational technology. Many members of our community express a desire to “try out” new techniques, to reach new Georgia Tech students and stakeholders, and to provide more flexible approaches to classroom instruction and course design.  Coursera is just the first step in a strategy that will give us the freedom to investigate these new approaches and rapidly adopt the ones that have a positive impact on the Institute.
Details about our arrangement with Coursera will be made public over the next few days.  If you have an interest in online instruction or if you have ideas for courses that you think might have particular value, I invite you to express that interest to me or to Professor Rich DeMillo in his role as chair of my Council for Educational Technology. Your support and participation in this experiment will be critical to its success.
Rafael L. Bras,
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
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