UK Tests The Waters With New Free Online Course

May 30, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky will be among 10 flagship state schools making up the first wave of large public universities signing on to a partnership with Coursera, one of the country’s leading platforms for what’s called “massive open online courses” or MOOCs.

Unlike many such initiatives, UK’s experiment with MOOCs will target high school students, enabling them to sign up for a free online course in college-level chemistry. Vince Kellen, senior vice provost for academic planning, analytics, and technologies, says once the course is crafted, students and others will be able to access the course next year.

"In January, they will be able to go to Coursera, register for the course, and proceed through it online at home in their computer. If a high school instructor wants to use the course in their class, since it's free and open, they will be able to do so," Kellen says.

The course will be crafted by faculty members and academic technology course designers. Once the program is underway, faculty will be able to develop new online courses and alter existing MOOC content.