Antioch University Becomes First US Institution to Offer Credit for MOOC Learning Through Coursera

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New offering will allow Antioch University to reduce the cost of degree completion

Antioch University is the first US institution to receive approval from Coursera to offer college credit for specified Coursera MOOCs (massive open online courses). Through this new partnership, Antioch University and the Antioch University Los Angeles campus can reduce student costs to complete a four-year degree and expand course offerings through free online courses offered by the highly respected universities that have partnered with Coursera. This course access will directly benefit learners that Antioch University serves and is a demonstration of Antioch University’s long commitment to innovation, experiential learning and student engagement through high-quality education.

Across its five campuses, Antioch University is committed to creating new learning opportunities for students. This innovative new program will offer students who enroll in Antioch University’s BA degree completion and high school-to-college bridge programs a more affordable and more convenient pathway to earn a college degree. Antioch University Los Angeles intends to offer its facilitated MOOCs for less than the per-course cost of tuition and fees at either of the California public four year university systems.

For adult learners the facilitated MOOC program helps meet the needs of those who have put off completing their college degree due to the high cost of higher education or the demands of work and family. For high school students, the program provides an opportunity to learn from exemplary faculty regardless of where the student lives and helps them get an early start on college through a combination of MOOC and Antioch University courses.

In early October, Antioch University Los Angeles launched a MOOC pilot program. Students in the pilot program could enroll in two Coursera courses developed by the University of Pennsylvania: Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, and Greek and Roman Mythology. AULA plans to offer three additional courses in the Winter Quarter, which starts in January. On behalf of Antioch University, Antioch University Los Angeles is working with Coursera to secure approval to launch an expanded program nationwide in 2013.

“Antioch University values and nurtures an innovative, reflective, and experiential approach to educational excellence and, to that end, we are excited about having this groundbreaking opportunity to work with Coursera to provide students with even greater benefits from the unique learning opportunity offered by the Coursera MOOCs” said Tex Boggs, Antioch University Los Angeles president. “Coursera provides an unprecedented opportunity, for both nontraditional and traditional students, to access rigorous higher education courses at a time and place that is convenient to them. By working closely with Coursera and their university partners, Antioch University Los Angeles will offer to those who choose to enroll in Coursera MOOCs an opportunity to earn university credit at an affordable cost.”

Daphne Koller, the co-founder of Coursera, recently said: "We're excited at the possibility of having students use our courses as credit toward a degree at Antioch University, while also benefiting from enhanced learning opportunities in the classroom. We look forward to expanding the pilot to include more courses and more students."

The AULA/Coursera program has been specifically designed to ensure that students enrolled in a MOOC have a comprehensive and rigorous learning experience. “AULA is firmly convinced that these courses are worthy of credit,” President Boggs added.

Each Coursera course will be facilitated by an AULA faculty member who will also be enrolled in the course, thereby enabling both frequent interaction between students and instructor and augmentation of the course through supplemental exercises and projects focused on expanding the learning experience. Some courses will be offered in a low residency format so that those students who wish to participate in a face-to-face class may do so.

“We are always looking for ways to improve learning and increase access to higher education,” said MeHee Hyun, co-chair of AULA’s undergraduate program. “By adding face-to-face interaction with Antioch University faculty, and supplemental resources to the existing materials that are a part of the MOOCs, Antioch University can enhance the overall student experience. The convenience of online learning combined with the personal attention of a low residency experience, offers students both increased flexibility and additional creative learning opportunities.”

Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that works with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Its technology enables the best professors to teach tens to hundreds of thousands of students. The organization envisions a future in which the best universities are educating not just thousands of students, but millions.

In order to ensure student success in the MOOCs, AULA also intends to schedule a series of free workshops, on campus and online, beginning in late Fall. These workshops will be designed to educate students and community members on how to earn academic credit through a MOOC enrollment. Additionally, workshop students will gain a better understanding of the massive open online course landscape, as well as the independent learning skills necessary to successfully complete their chosen MOOCs.

Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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Media Contacts
Antioch University Los Angeles
Karen Hamilton
Public Relations Specialist

Antioch University
Matt Cookson
Chief Communications Officer

Iz Conroy
Member of Coursera PR Team

University of Pennsylvania
Ron Ozio
Director, Media Relations
215-898-8658 (office), 215-852-8017 (cell)

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