Tag Archive for coursera

Wesleyan Launches First-Ever Creative Writing Specialization on Coursera

Wesleyan's creative writing specialization is open to anyone with a love of reading or a drive to invent a story or tell their own.

Wesleyan’s creative writing specialization on Coursera provides an opportunity to learn from some of the country’s best contemporary writers.

Wesleyan will present the first-ever creative writing specialization on the Coursera platform, beginning Feb. 9. Taught by four award-winning authors, the specialization is open to anyone with a love of reading or a drive to invent a story or tell their own.

Titled “Creative Writing: The Craft of Story,” the specialization will include four courses, plus a capstone. The courses are:

The first MOOC launches Feb. 9, with subsequent courses starting every week after that.

Wesleyan MOOCs Topic of Academic (Technology) Roundtable

On Oct. 29, the Academic Technology Roundtable (AtR) focused on Wesleyan's Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), from design to implementation.

On Oct. 29, the Academic (Technology) Roundtable (A(t)R) focused on Wesleyan’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), from design to implementation. A(t)R lunches are designed to promote conversation, cooperation and the sharing of information, ideas and resources among faculty members, librarians, graduate students and staff.

Speakers included Jennifer Rose, professor of the practice and research professor of psychology, and Dan Mercier, instructional design director for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation.

Speakers included, at left, Dan Mercier, instructional design director for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation, and Jennifer Rose, professor of the practice and research professor of psychology.

Plous and the Science of Compassion Featured on NPR

Professor of Psychology Scott Plous and anthropologist Jane Goodall presented Qian Zhang of China with a Day of Compassion Award from the Jane Goodall Institute. Zhang was a student in Plous's Social Psychology MOOC last summer and received the honor for intervening when she heard a boy being beaten in a neighboring apartment. 

Professor of Psychology Scott Plous and anthropologist Jane Goodall presented Qian Zhang of China with a Day of Compassion Award from the Jane Goodall Institute. Zhang was a student in Plous’s Social Psychology MOOC last summer and received the honor for intervening when she heard a boy being beaten in a neighboring apartment.

NPR’s “Hidden Brain” program took a look at the science of compassion in a program featuring Professor of Psychology Scott Plous and the “Day of Compassion” exercise that he leads in his social psychology courses at Wesleyan and in his Social Psychology MOOC on Coursera.

“Scott radiates kindness,” said host and science correspondent Shankar Vedantam in introducing Plous. More than 250,000 students from around the world signed up for the first run of Plous’ MOOC. The course capstone was the Day of Compassion exercise in which “students had to spend one day being deliberately kind and generous toward others. Scott asked them to notice how these actions changed the way they felt about themselves.”

“Students often report that it’s transformative—that they’re really surprised at the reaction, that people are so overwhelmingly positive that it starts to feed on itself,” said Plous. “And by the end of the day, they report, ‘This is a different side of me that I didn’t recognize was there.'” What’s driving this? “Oftentimes, it seems that compassion is contagious. We talk about paying it forward: The idea that if you do something good for another person, that give that person a kind of lift, and that person in turn will do something good for someone else, and it sets off a chain reaction,” Plous explained.

Students in the course are asked to “think deeply about their life choices,” down to what they eat for breakfast and how they commute to work, and how those choices affect other people.

Vendantam also interviewed Kellie, a participant in Plous’ MOOC who lives in London. She used some of the psychological principles taught on the course—including the “norm of reciprocity” and the power of empathy—to form a relationship with a homeless man she met on the street. She ended up inviting him for a cup of coffee, where she talked about her own life and encouraged him to open up about his. She eventually learned that he had left home because of tension with his father, but badly missed his mother. Though he was resistant, Kellie convinced the man to allow her to call his mother.

“It was quite beautiful to watch because he started out not knowing what to say and being quite guarded and defensive. That all broke down within five minutes.” After that, she convinced him to return to his family, and bought him a bus ticket home.

“I think that day in the course with Professor Plous most definitely opened my eyes to the reasons why people don’t do something to help. […] It’s easy to say ‘I can’t make a difference,’ but everyone can make a difference,” no matter how small, she said.

 

Wesleyan Announces New Data Science Specialization on Coursera

Jennifer Rose (shown here) and Lisa Dierker are leading a new specialization in data science on Coursera.

Wesleyan faculty Jennifer Rose, pictured above, and Lisa Dierker are leading a new specialization in data science on Coursera.

This month, Wesleyan will launch a new specialization on Coursera in the rapidly growing field of data science. The four-MOOC (massive open online course) sequence, together with a final capstone project, will offer learners a verified certificate of completion that they may share with prospective or current employers.

Wesleyan’s specialization, Data Analysis and Interpretation, is one of more than 30 new business, computer science, and data science specializations starting on Coursera on Sept. 15. (Learn more on Coursera’s blog.)

Wesleyan is continually expanding its offerings on Coursera, and in January 2016, plans to introduce a new Creative Writing specialization.

3 Wesleyan MOOCs Now On-Demand

Wesleyan is the first small liberal arts college focused on the undergraduate experience to partner with Coursera.

Wesleyan is the first small liberal arts college focused on the undergraduate experience to partner with Coursera.

Two Wesleyan massive open online courses (MOOCs) are now available on-demand through Coursera. They are “The Modern and the Postmodern,” taught by President Michael Roth, which was recently broken into Parts 1 and 2, and “The Ancient Greeks,” taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, the Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, chair and professor of classical studies. A third Wesleyan MOOC, “Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics,” taught by Richard Adelstein, the Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, has been on-demand since earlier this year.

“On-demand courses are always available and therefore allow learners to begin at any time and proceed at their own pace,” said Jeffrey Goetz, online programs development manager. “While the new format encourages deadlines, it no longer imposes them, and as such is more flexible for learners with busy lives.”

While certain aspects of the courses, such as peer-assessed assignments and online discussions, will look slightly different in the on-demand versions, Goetz said, “Because there are tens of thousands of people potentially taking each course, it’s highly likely that there will be a critical mass at any point in the curriculum, allowing for plenty of interaction among participants. Professors will have a more hands-off approach to the on-demand courses, checking in sporadically on discussion forums. The professors may choose to answer common questions that arise in the forums, hold occasional ‘office hours,’ or tap in for an extended period of time to work with a cohort though the entire course.”

Enrollment in Wesleyan MOOCs Surpasses 1M

Wesleyan, which was the first small liberal arts college focused on the undergraduate experience to offer MOOCs through Coursera, now has more than 1 million students enrolled in its courses.

Wesleyan, which was the first small liberal arts college focused on the undergraduate experience to offer MOOCs through Coursera, now has more than 1 million students enrolled in its courses.

Total enrollment in Wesleyan’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) recently surpassed 1 million students, as Wesleyan professors prepare to offer a new run of two film courses through Coursera in the coming months.

According to Jennifer Curran, director of continuing studies and Graduate Liberal Studies, enrollment is poised to continue growing in the lead-up to The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color, taught by Scott Higgins, associate professor and chair of film studies, beginning Feb. 2, and Marriage and the Movies: A History, taught by Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, beginning May 18. A third course, Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics, taught by Richard Adelstein, the Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, is now being offered on-demand, meaning students can start and progress through the course on their own schedule. Additional courses are being converted to the on-demand format and will be available in the coming months.

Roth Discusses “The Future of Education” at Social Good Summit

Logo_SGS2014President Michael Roth discussed “The Future of Education” at the 92nd Street Y’s Social Good Summit on Sept. 21.

The event is the focus of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform, which will be offered again starting in Nov., 2014.

In his second appearance at the annual two-day festival of ideas, Roth discussed why education is still the best vehicle for social change, even while it has become more controversial then ever.

Watch the video of his talk.

Michael Roth

Michael Roth

“Education remains the most potent tool for changing the world, ” he said. “And training teachers who can help students acquire the skills to keep learning, the skills to think for oneself, is one of the most pressing demands of social justice.”

Last year, Roth’s inspirational talk at the 92Y event focused on “how to change the world,” which later became the topic of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform. This year, his speech was informed by his recently published book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale Press).

This year’s summit, with the theme “Connecting for Good, Connecting for All,” brought together world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists, and voices from around the world to explore how technology and new media can be leveraged to benefit people everywhere and create a better world by the year 2030.

Wesleyan’s Coursera Classes Begin April 21 with Basinger’s “Marriage in the Movies”

Professor Jeanine Basinger is teaching “Marriage in the Movies: A History," starting April 21.

Professor Jeanine Basinger is teaching “Marriage in the Movies: A History,” starting April 21.

Always wanted to take a course with legendary film professor Jeanine Basinger? Miss the first run of Professor of Psychology Scott Plous’ wildly popular “Social Psychology” MOOC? Now’s your chance!

The next round of Wesleyan’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) is starting up this month, with “Marriage in the Movies: A History” launching April 21. Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, is teaching the course based on her book, I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.

“This is essentially a descriptive course on stories and stars and business strategies,” says Basinger, who is also chair of film studies and curator of the cinema archives. “It provides information and shows clips for support and example. It’s not philosophical; it’s not a formalist analysis. It’s a simple study about content in the movies designed for people who love films and would like to have more information about some of them and have, what I hope, will be a fun conversation on the changes that evolved over time in stories about marriage that were made in Hollywood.”

In the course’s intro video, Basinger says the course will explore “how Hollywood had trouble telling the story and selling the story of marriage on film.”

Watch Live Stream of Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

President Michael S. Roth will join 54 other speakers, including former Vice President Al Gore, at the Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24 at the 92nd St. Y in New York.

The speakers will address diverse topics on the theme of “How to Change the World,” seeking innovative solutions to global problems. To view and listen to a live stream of the event, go to: new.livestream.com/mashable. You may need to select the “join” link.

The summit live stream will also be available in the Usdan University Center video lounge.

The summit will form the basis of a new MOOC (massive open online course) to be offered by Wesleyan on the Coursera platform launching Jan. 20.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others, including Wesleyan professors. The classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. Registration for the course is now open on the Coursera website.

Read more about the Social Good Summit in this past Wesleyan Connection article.

Wesleyan to Develop MOOC Based on Social Good Summit

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

In September, Wesleyan President Michael Roth will be a speaker at the Social Good Summit, to be held at the 92 Street Y in New York, Sept. 22-24. Fifty-five of today’s global leaders in new media, technology, nonprofits, international affairs and numerous other areas will explore “the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges.” The summit will be live streamed at new.livestream.com/mashable. It will also be shown in the Usdan University Center video lounge, for those on campus.

At the conference, Roth will formally introduce a new massive open online course (MOOC) on the Coursera platform to develop and share many of the ideas raised at the Summit. The MOOC, a collaboration between Wesleyan and 92Y, will be called, “How to Change the World.” The course is expected to launch in Jan. 2014, and registration is now open on the Coursera website.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the Social Good Summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others including Wesleyan professors. Classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. More details will be announced in the future.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the 92nd Street Y in this innovative way,” Roth said. “Setting the Social Good Summit in an academic context and making discussion about provocative ideas available worldwide through Coursera is an exciting prospect!”

The Social Good Summit is sponsored by 92Y, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ericsson. Speakers include former Vice President Al Gore; Global Health Corps. CEO and Co-Founder Barbara Bush; United Nations Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin; NASA Astronaut Ron Garan; The New York Times Editor Sarah Kramer; UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; Mashable Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet; American Renewable Energy Institute President Sally Renney; Tumblr Director of Outreach Liba Rubenstein; DJ and Artist DJ Spooky; Nobel Women’s Initiative Chair Jody Williams; and many more. A full list of speakers is available on the Social Good Summit website.

Next Round of Wesleyan Coursera Classes Starting

The course "Social Psychology," taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

The course “Social Psychology,” taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

Miss the start of MOOC-mania earlier this year? Good news—it’s not too late to check it out! Wesleyan’s next round of massive open online courses (MOOCS) is starting on Coursera in the coming weeks.

A brand new MOOC, “Social Psychology,” will be offered by Professor of Psychology Scott Plous starting Aug. 12. The course has generated enormous interest, with more than 170,000 students currently enrolled.

“The goal of the course is to explore some entertaining and intriguing psychology findings that students can use to improve their lives, relationships, and work. More than 40 organizations have contributed free readings, video clips and other items to the course, and I’m excited to share these materials with students who might not otherwise have access to them,” said Plous, adding that he has “tucked some fun surprises into the course.”

In addition, many of Wesleyan’s original MOOCs will run for a second time on Coursera this summer and fall. These include  “The Modern and the Postmodern,” (begins July 29) taught by President Michael Roth; “The Ancient Greeks,” (Sept. 2) taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies; and “The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color,” (Sept. 16) taught by Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies.

"Analysis of a Complex Kind" will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

“Analysis of a Complex Kind” will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor, starting on Oct. 21.

Later in the fall, another new MOOC, “Analysis of a Complex Kind,” will be taught by Petra Bonfert-Taylor, professor of mathematics. This class starts on Oct. 21.

The first round of Wesleyan MOOCs saw enrollment by more than 140,000 students from 171 countries and every continent, save Antarctica, according to Sheryl Culotta, director of continuing studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. The typical student was an international, college-educated woman in her 20s and 30s.

The feedback from these students has been very positive. “Many have said that they felt their Wesleyan Coursera course was equivalent to college-level classes they have taken,” Culotta said.

Wesleyan’s initial Coursera pilot project will continue throughout the coming academic year, with a few new courses launching in the fall and spring. After these courses launch, Wesleyan will make a decision regarding future courses, said Culotta, and will develop an official course proposal process similar to the process for other programs.

 

 

Faculty to Teach Coursera Classes Starting Feb. 4

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will teach a 14-week-long course on "The Modern and the Postmodern," through Coursera starting on Feb. 4. Coursera offers the public access to free online courses taught by professors from top colleges and universities.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will teach a 14-week-long course on “The Modern and the Postmodern,” through Coursera starting on Feb. 4. Coursera offers the public access to free online courses taught by professors from top colleges and universities. (Video still by Ben Travers)

For alumni seeking to relive their days in the classroom, parents interested to see first-hand what their Wesleyan students are learning, and prospective students—or anyone else—curious about the Wesleyan experience, here’s your chance. Beginning Feb. 4, two Wesleyan professors—President Michael Roth and Associate Professor of Film Studies Scott Higgins—will open their virtual classrooms on Coursera.

In September 2012, Wesleyan announced a new partnership with Coursera, a company offering the public access to free MOOCs (massive open online courses) taught by professors from top colleges and universities. Wesleyan is the first liberal arts institution focused on the undergraduate experience to offer classes through Coursera. Since September, more than 130,000 people have enrolled in the six online classes that will be offered this year by Wesleyan professors.

Roth’s 14-week-long course, “The Modern and the Postmodern,” examines “how the idea of ‘the modern’ developed at the end of the 18th Century and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change during the last 200 years. Are we still in modernity,” Roth asks on the course website, “or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?” The class will consist of short video lectures, readings, quizzes, peer-graded writing assignments, and a final exam. Readings for the course include writing by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Virginia Woolf, among others.

“Preparing the Coursera version of the course while teaching ‘The Modern and the Postmodern’ on campus has helped me to think anew about material I’ve been teaching for many years,” Roth said.