WVU offered its first MOOC in February, led by communications professors and focusing on the impact of technology on society.
WVU Faculty Senate chairman Michael Mays said MOOCs are "perfect vehicles" for lifelong learners to explore ideas in a group setting without the formality of transcripts and academic credit.
"MOOCs make available to students the experience and accumulated knowledge of an acknowledged expert, like an interactive, multimedia textbook," Mays said. "It is one goal of a university education for students to value knowledge for its own sake. What better way to build a base for a lifetime of learning than for them to get in the habit of browsing in a garden of ideas, guided only by their evolving interests?"
Last week, WVU announced the reorganization of its extended and online learning courses under the umbrella of "Academic Innovation" in an attempt to "better champion innovation in the classroom and provide a place for faculty to experiment with emerging tools."
"Partnering with Coursera underscores the mission of a 21st century land-grant university to provide access to students," WVU President Jim Clements said in a release. "We're in very good company with some of the top universities and faculty members in the world who've engaged in this emerging educational delivery platform. Our faculty will take the lead as we move forward with new possibilities available through Coursera."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.