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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yale's Online Course Initiative

Last night in a "blogger only" press conference (love the idea), a team from Yale University announce the launching of seven online introductory courses. Complete courses with audio and video from each class session within the course.

For an excellent summary of the session, see Christy Tucker's summary in Open Yale Courses, New Media Traditional Pedagogy.

As the press release stated:
The project, called “Open Yale Courses,” presents unique access to the full content of a selection of college-level courses and makes them available in various formats, including downloadable and streaming video, audio only and searchable transcripts of each lecture. Syllabi, reading assignments, problem sets and other materials accompany the courses.

Diana E. E. Kleiner, Dunham Professor of the History of Art and Classics and the director of the project, noted that the full content of all the courses is now readily available online and may be accessed at the users’ convenience.

“We wanted everyone to be able to see and hear each lecture as if they were sitting in the classroom,” Kleiner said. “It’s exciting to make these thought-provoking courses available so broadly for free. While education is best built upon direct interactions between teachers and students, Yale believes that leading universities have much to contribute to making educational resources accessible to a wider audience. We hope this ongoing project will benefit countless people around the world

I encourage you to check out the courses for your self at Open Yale Courses. It really is neat that you can "attend" different courses at one of the major universities in the world and see some of what makes Yale...Yale.

The concept is great and the use of many different media to provide content is going to be effective, you can listen to a lecture, watch the video or read a transcript. Content how you want it when you want it. I like the idea and if you don't want to hear an entire semester's worth of a course, you can just find the one or two lectures that you find of particular interest and watch/listen/read those.

So, in your spare time:) take a course from Yale and then consider your own design of courses...are they accessible in various formats or do you have everything "trapped" in a course creation system that is only accessible through a heavily guarded LMS?

Getting your Bachelor degree through some kind of online degree program is one way that some people choose to get their degree for various reasons. For some people online universities are a viable answer to schedule issues that can be overcome by getting an online MBA rather than attending classes in person.

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Joe Mendrzycki said...

I am imagining the potential to offer this kind of course materials, and combine it with the interactivity our instructional technology can offer.... wow. With some discussion boards and other Web 2.0 technology, there could be a genuine social, interactive, classroom environment, outside the walls of an LMS.

Karl Kapp said...

I agree, this type of course offering combined with a social network and other interactive features would be a great model for an online course.

freddy said...

Open University's "Open Learn" project ( is experimenting with discussion forums associated with their learning materials. The buzz is that Yale and other schools are looking into this as well.

Erik said...

Dr. Kapp,

I just convinced the Dean to allow us to try this with our courses here at Drexel's Business School. If we can get it up and running we'll be only the second Business school to offer open courses (MIT's was the first).

I'll keep you posted.

Karl Kapp said...

Freddy, I think that is an excellent use of the material and really helps extend the educational value of the materials already provided.

Erik,That's great, keep us posted. And I'd love to be included in your Blogger only press conference on the launch day.)

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More schools should adopt the "online course initiative" and offer more online degree programs than are currently available.