UVA Set to Offer Free Online Courses via Coursera

The University of Virginia is set to begin opening up their online course offerings to any student with an internet connection and a computer, and it is said that the talks that led to this decision began prior to the ousting of the university’s president Teresa Sullivan. Although plans were being set in place as far back as April, according to Helen Dragas, the university rector, Sullivan’s failure to incorporate online courses into the school’s offerings was one of the reasons why she was let go.

Coursera To Partner With UVA

As Robert Brunder, the dean of the university’s Darden School of Business states, many courses are currently being offered online by UVA, but by partnering with Coursera, they institution can finally begin taking the final steps to incorporating these offerings as a staple part of their establishment.

Courses Offered in History, Philosophy, Business and Physics

As of 2013, the university will offer 4 free classes that will be entirely online-based and non-credited, in the fields of history, philosophy, business and physics. According to J. Milton Adams, vice provost of the university, the courses are going to be conveyed in a clear, enjoyable manner, and this is what will make them stand out. Since this is only the beginning, students might be able to expect many more courses coming their way once the institution has found its feet with regards to their online course offerings.

Universities Jump To Sign With Coursera

Coursera is currently gaining ground, in terms of its affiliations with universities offering online-based courses, and they have already partnered with esteemed institutions such as Princeton and Stanford. As of Tuesday, another 12 institutions will have partnered with Coursera, with UVA among them. It has been said that universities that refuse to accept the wave of online learning will fall by the wayside, and this is forcing many institutions to reconsider their own views on the topic, especially with establishments such as MIT and Harvard leading the way.

It’s Not All About The Benjamin’s

For the time being, the courses being offered will be free of charge, and so they will be made available to a wider scope of prospective students. The main goals of these institutions seems to revolve around making education more accessible, and allowing the participating institutions the opportunity to determine whether they are headed in the right direction, in terms of their offerings and the manner in which their courses are laid out. This period seems to denote one of investigation, rather than profiteering, and this means that students can only benefit from the outcome.

As Dragas stated in the press release offered by the University of Virginia on Tuesday, “it’s important that we being to experiment with many new initiatives in order to see what works and what doesn’t.” With all of these new ventures being taken up by some of the most esteemed institutions around the country, this is a very exciting time for higher education and those that would seek to further their knowledge of a chosen field through these types of opportunities.