It’s great to hear that UCSF and other top universities are offering free, online classes through the website Coursera. In a recent article UCSF announced:
There has never been a more important time for students to learn about health and science, but many don’t have access to high-level classes,” said Joseph Castro, PhD, vice chancellor of Student Academic Affairs. “At the same time, UCSF offers world-class courses in those areas, but we enroll fewer than 3,000 students per year. As a public university committed to reaching underserved populations throughout the world, it makes perfect sense on many levels to offer our classes online.
The three online classes will begin in January 2013, starting with “Clinical Problem Solving,” “Contraception: Choices, Culture and Consequences,” and “Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.” Two of the courses, contraception and nutrition, are UCSF School of Nursing courses and represent the first courses from a school of nursing in the country to be offered online for free.
Over time, UCSF’s online offerings are expected to grow in breadth and volume, according to Castro, who, in partnership with Karen Butter, University Librarian and Assistant Vice Chancellor, spearheaded efforts to make courses available online. Students participating in the online courses will not earn credit, although the University is determining whether a certificate of achievement will be awarded to students who fulfill the requirements. Online education students come from any number of geographic and educational backgrounds, ranging from a nurse in Uganda to a high school advanced placement student in Fresno.
The move is UCSF’s first foray into the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and places the University in a select group of schools conducting an education experiment spearheaded by online education company Coursera. The company recently announced that it partnered with 19 universities, including UCSF, to offer more than 120 courses. The news garnered significant media coverage, including an article in the The New York Times, which called it a “seismic shift” in online learning. Keep reading
This article was originally published on ucsf.edu