It’s too early to call the recent, widespread turn toward Massive Open Online Courses a success, but at schools like UK, online learning is growing.
Now, more than 7,000 students have signed up to begin taking chemistry though a new online pilot program at the University of Kentucky. The course is unique among MOOC programs because it’s meant to prepare high school students for college level work, but anyone can sign up to take the class for free.
Vince Kellen, UK’s senior vice provost for academic planning, technologies and analytics, says high school students can use the class to prepare for the Advanced Placement exam that can earn them college credit.
“Our hope is over time some high schools will use this content in their class. And so were gearing up our outreach for that and as we launch this we’ll see how popular that becomes,” he says.
Kellen also says the program will be a learning experience for UK and other universities that still wonder what role MOOCs will play in education.
“We are going to be assessing how successful these are and we have actually in the works courses in physics and in psychology that are going to be a similar mode, how to prepare high school students for coming on campus,” says Kellen.
UK is one of 10 education systems to have partnered with online education provider Coursera to expand access to more students.
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