Online and Blended Learning
ONLINE LEARNING INITIATIVES
Two recent partnerships in online learning have enabled Northwestern to continue experimenting with different modes of offering online and blended courses. Partnerships with Coursera and Semester Online (SON) have helped us lead the way in shaping the landscape of online higher education. We are continuing to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through Coursera, but Semester Online will be discontinued following summer 2014 courses.
A year ago Northwestern and a group of other universities agreed to participate in an experiment in online learning called Semester Online. Our goals were to give faculty and students new opportunities - new teaching tools and methods for faculty, and additional curricular breadth and scheduling flexibility for students. The consortium of universities, in partnership with 2U as the platform provider, created a set of courses for undergraduates that we offered in the fall, another set in the spring, and a third group of courses for the upcoming summer term. While we have found a high level of satisfaction among faculty teaching these courses and students taking these courses, some faculty have expressed significant concerns with some aspects of the SON model. Furthermore, we also found a significant number of challenges in working within a consortium to offer these courses.
As a result, the SON consortium members have decided not to continue Semester Online beyond the pilot year. Semester Online courses will be offered this summer, but no proposals for new courses will be accepted nor will students be able to register for Semester Online courses for 2014-15 and beyond. I would like to thank our university partners and 2U, and faculty and students who participated in the courses, for joining in this experiment. In the coming years, Northwestern will certainly continue to explore how best to take advantage of online learning.
Learn about this initiative here: FAQs for Semester Online (SON)
Northwestern University is proud to partner with Coursera, a California-based education company founded in 2011 by two Stanford computer science professors. A variety of free online courses will be offered. Additional courses will be featured as faculty members develop new online strategies for delivering their course content to a global audience.
Coursera Request for Proposals
Requests for proposals for MOOCs to be developed summer 2014 through spring 2015 is now closed. The next opportunity to propose courses will be in Fall 2014.
Interested faculty should refer to the FAQs for Coursera MOOCs for more detailed information about MOOCs and the proposal process, as well as the MOOC Creation Guidelines for guidance on the development and delivery of MOOCs. Faculty are invited to consult with the Coordinated Service Center for online courses at any point in the process of proposing or developing a MOOC by emailing email@example.com.
MORE ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING INITIATIVES
In addition to these two new online learning platforms, many schools at Northwester have developed their own modules and courses to offer students a variety of online, blended and distance learning opportunities. Listed here are just a few of these offerings.
School of Continuing StudiesRead more about the School of Continuing Studies’ distance learning philosophy.
- MS in Information Systems - part-time program that can be taken partly or completely online.
- MS in Medical Informatics - part-time, fully online program offered in collaboration with the Feinberg School of Medicine.
- MA in Public Policy and Administration - part-time; can be taken partly or completely online. This course recently won a Blackboard Exemplary Course Award.
Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
MS in Integrated Marketing Communications - program that offers the same faculty, curriculum, and degree as the on-campus program.
School of Education and Social Policy
Feinberg School of Medicine
- MS in Medical Informatics - part-time, fully online program offered in collaboration with the School of Continuing Studies.
- MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics - a twenty-one month program offered through a blended format.
School of Law
Executive LLM in Madrid, Spain - offered in collaboration with IE Law School, this program employs a blended approach, combining online instruction with periods of on-campus learning in both Madrid and Chicago.
FACULTY DISTANCE LEARNING WORKGROUP
The Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup advises the Provost on issues related to the development and implementation of distance learning opportunities at the University. Through active engagement with the schools, faculty colleagues and other groups across campus, this workgroup will help ensure that the core teaching, research, and service mission is at the center of all distance learning initiatives undertaken by the University.William Rogerson, Chair, Professor, Economics – WCAS
Gad Allon, Professor, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences – KSM
Sara Broaders, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Psychology – WCAS
Tom Collinger, Associate Professor, Integrated Marketing Communications; Senior Director of Medill Distance Learning – Medill
Mary Finn, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs – WCAS
Scott Garton, Department Head, Library, Branch and Off-Campus Services Department
Jeanne Herrick, Senior Lecturer, Writing Program – WCAS; Educational Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate
David Meyer, Professor, Physics and Astronomy – WCAS
Rick Morris, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration – SoC
Susan Phillips, Associate Professor, English – WCAS
Chris Riesbeck, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – MEAS
Cynthia Robin, Professor, Anthropology – WCAS
Joel Shapiro, Associate Dean of Academic Programs – SCS
Emerson Tiller, Professor – Law
Katrin Voelkner, Senior Lecturer, German; Director of the MMLC, Member of Council on Language Instruction – WCAS
Ben Weinkove, Professor, Mathematics – WCAS
Marianna Kepka, Facilitator, Assistant Provost for Academic Administration
Jen Koh, Facilitator, Office of the Provost