Rice University has recently partnered with Coursera and will be offering 5 new free online courses to anyone interested in furthering their education. Coursera was only launched in April, and yet it has made great strides in the field of education, with a range of other universities already joining their ranks. While Coursera might have started out with only 4 institutions, there are now more than 11 of the country’s most prestigious universities that have joined up to offer their own online courses to the public, and this is just the beginning.
Furthering Education Through Online Opportunities
According to the provost of Rice University, George Mclendon, the institution is “proud to be a part of this new wave of technology-based learning in the company of some of the most prestigious universities in the United States and the world.” The establishment is offering these courses through the medium of online lectures, which students will be able to view before completing the tests that were designed to assist in knowledge retention. Assignments are also set to become a staple part of the courses, as they have been known to assist students in building on the depth of knowledge that they gain from the lectures.
Online Courses To Supplement Land-Based Classes
It is not only online students that will benefit from the lectures that have been placed online- Rice University also plans to incorporate them into their own land-based classes by supplementing them with the materials that students are expected to cover during the duration of their courses. Students can watch the lectures beforehand and when they come to class, the time that is allotted to them can be used for discussions and an in-depth analysis of the materials.
Building on The Foundation of Online Education
According to the president of Rice University, David Leebron, institutions that are interested in researching the value that online courses will play in higher education should be more than willing to get involved with these types of initiatives, especially since they can be used as a tool to reach a wider base of students, as well as to improve instruction within the university itself.
The courses that are currently being offered by the university include software programming, general chemistry, nanotechnology, analytical chemistry and electrical engineering. Prospective students who are interested in signing up for these courses will need to be aware of the opening and closing dates for enrollment, as they will be offered at different times throughout the year.
The Start Of a Bright New Future
While Rice University is currently only offering 5 courses, this might change in the future as research is conducted into the value of these classes, both for those students who are taking them through an online medium and those that are attending the university. In time, the university might add to the number of courses being offered. This is an exciting time for students who are looking to further their education through some of the best universities in the country, or possibly the world, and it remains to be seen just how far Coursera will go in allowing anyone and everyone access to the education that they deserve.