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

[FILE] A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

Research Shows Paddling Still Prevalent in Florida Schools

Many school districts that allow corporal punishment are in Florida’s northern rural counties, with Suwannee near the top of the list. A team of University of Florida researchers is calling for an immediate end to paddling, a source of increased dropouts and lawsuits, according to a research study.


Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.02.19 PM

Fundraiser Drives Marion County Elementary School Students to Create License Plate Art

By making art on license plates, elementary school students flex their creative muscles while raising money for their schools’ art programs.


Students at Norton Elementary School wait in line as they're served dinner for the first time at school. Norton Elementary now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Norton Elementary Serves It All

In addition to breakfast and lunch, Norton Elementary School now serves dinner to students enrolled in its after-school program. Dinner is currently scheduled to be served at 2 p.m.


Yes For Marion County Schools table at the Journey Into Reading event at Central Florida State College. The theme of the event was "seasons" and we were designated as "winter."

Amendment 4 Could Bring Back Marion County Teachers And School Programs

On Election Day, Marion County voters will vote on Amendment 4, which calls for the millage rate to increase. The extra money will go toward school programs and teacher salaries, potentially bringing back laid-off, first-year teachers.


Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.22.22 PM

New FCAT Replacement Test To Be Computer-Based

The new test set to replace the FCAT this March will be computer-based. Some educators are worried the test may be a disadvantage for students who are not used to working on a computer on a daily basis.


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