[LINK] "Semester Online"

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Nov 17 00:41:16 AEDT 2012


University Consortium to Offer Online Courses for Credit

By HANNAH SELIGSON  www.nytimes.com  Published: November 15, 2012 

Starting next fall, 10 prominent universities will form a consortium 
called Semester Online, offering about 30 online courses to both their 
students and to students elsewhere who would have to apply and be 
accepted and pay tuition of more than $4,000 a course. 

Semester Online will be operated through the educational platform 2U and 
will simulate many aspects of a classroom: Students will be able to raise 
their hands virtually, break into smaller discussion groups and arrange 
and hold online study sessions. 

The virtual classroom is a cross between a Google+ hangout and the 
opening sequence of “The Brady Bunch,” where each student has his or her 
own square, the equivalent of a classroom chair. However, with Semester 
Online courses, there is no sneaking in late and unnoticed, and there is 
no back row. 

Unlike the increasingly popular massive open online courses, or MOOCs, 
free classes offered by universities like Harvard, M.I.T. and Stanford, 
Semester Online classes will be small — and will offer credit. 

“Now we can provide students with a course that mirrors our classroom 
experience,” says Edward S. Macias, provost and executive vice chancellor 
for academic affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the 

“It’s going to be the most rigorous, live, for-credit online experience 
ever,” said Chip Paucek, a founder of 2U. 

For many of the participating schools, which include Brandeis, Emory, 
Notre Dame, the University of Rochester, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, 
Semester Online offerings will be their first undergraduate for-credit 
online courses, and the first to offer credit to students from outside 
the universities. 

One draw for the colleges is the expansion in their course catalogs. “No 
university can deliver the full range of courses that both might be 
interesting and useful and enlightening to our students,” said Peter 
Lange, the provost of Duke...


"Today, a group of the nation’s leading universities announced plans to 
launch a new, innovative program that transforms the model of online 
education. Consortium members include Brandeis University, Duke 
University, Emory University, Northwestern University, The University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, University of 
Rochester, Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University and Washington 
University in St. Louis." ..


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