WUFT News

University of Florida classes to be available on free course website

By on September 26th, 2012

Courtesy of Coursera

The upcoming University of Florida online courses will appear similar to Stanford and others schools' system through Coursera.

Online students will soon be able to get a free look into the University of Florida learning experience.

The University  announced on Sept. 19 that it will be among 17 universities that have signed agreements with Coursera, a free online learning website that provides courses from an international roster of universities to more than a million students.

Other universities that have joined Coursera include Brown and Columbia University.

There are currently six different courses available from UF, according to the Coursera website, with topics ranging from music to agriculture.

Andrew McCollough, associate provost for teaching and technology at UF, said the university had been in conversations with Coursera about six weeks before the announcement was made.

McCollough said Coursera had been interested in UF for many reasons, including the fact that the university is a land-grant school. Coursera had not previously had any courses in agriculture, which allowed UF to establish a niche in the Coursera portfolio.

The starting dates for the UF courses are  listed as “to be announced” on Coursera. McCollough said UF is working on the courses right now and that it is possible they will be available on Coursera by the beginning of 2013.

George Hochmuth, a professor from the UF Soil and Water Science Department, will be teaching a class on sustainable agriculture and urban land management on Coursera.

“I’m curious to see how many people out there are interested in this topic,” he said.

Hochmuth said the class on Coursera will be a bit different from previous online courses he has taught before. He plans to make the content more interactive by providing videos that show the topics he will be discussing in his class, as opposed to a simple video lecture of him speaking in a classroom.

Hochmuth said the goal of this movement was to make course material available to a wider audience.

“I like to think it will have a positive impact,” he said.

Wendell Porter, a professor from the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will be teaching a course on global sustainable energy on Coursera. He said the draw for him was getting to use new technology to teach his online course.

He said Coursera courses will have more of a focus on self-moderating, with more peer-to-peer grading and more online student interaction.

“This is going to widen the net on people who can take a course,” he said.

While the courses available on the website are free, they cannot be used as credit at the affiliated university.

McCollough said users can tap into a vast knowledge source at no cost and take any course of interest.

“I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said.


This entry was posted in Education, University of Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Susan Bowles hugs Jennifer Anhalt after Anhalt roused the crowd at the town hall meeting Tuesday night regarding standardized test practices in in Alachua County. In an interview after the meeting, Bowles said she was so grateful to have heard Anhalt speak with such skill on the matter that is so close to the hearts of many teachers.

Town Hall Meeting Explains State Tests, Community Reacts

Parents and teachers in Alachua County spoke out against elementary school standardized testing they say is too advanced. Students in kindergarten through second grade are expected to take up to nine state-required tests.


Marion County Sheriff's Office Mobile Jail Unit

Mobile Jail Cell Educates Public About Life In Jail

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office launched a program to educate the community about life in jail. A mobile jail cell called the “jail on wheels” shows the typical specifications of a jail cell and is housed in a standard utility trailer.


The Office for Student Financial Affairs offers many financial aid
options to provide students with resources and information to understand the rights 
incurred when they receive financial aid. The University of Florida office is located in Criser Hall on Union Road.

New Legislation Lowers Cost of Florida Prepaid College Plans

Beginning Sept. 20, families that purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan may receive refund benefits, price reductions and waived enrollment fees. Payment reductions will be applied to Prepaid Plans and refund checks will be processed and mailed within four to six weeks after.


Miranda Larkin, 16, stands in a Oakleaf High School bathroom after changing into the dress code violation outfit given to her by the school nurse. This is the photo she sent to her mother, Dianna. The yellow T-shirt and red pants have "Dress Code Violation" written on them.

Clay County Mother Files Complaint Over Dress Code Violation Punishment

A Clay County mother has filed a complaint with FERPA after her daughter was told to wear a pair of red pants and a bright yellow T-shirt with the words “Dress Code Violation” visibly printed on both. The punishment came after an Oakleaf High School teacher said the student’s skirt was too short.


Backlash Leads to Cancellation of FAIR Testing

According to a letter from the Alachua County Superintendent of Schools Owen Roberts, FAIR testing for students in kindergarten through the second grade has been cancelled for the year. The test will be temporarily replaced by an observational sheet for each student.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments