ExtensionEngine to Develop University of Notre Dame Online Master’s Degree in Data Science

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Partners to develop innovative online courses and technology

“Elite higher education institutions, like the University of Notre Dame, are recognizing that high-end, custom online learning experiences can be engaging and produce great student experiences and outcomes," said Furqan Nazeeri of ExtensionEngine.

ExtensionEngine, a leading provider of Custom Learning Experiences, announced that it has been selected by the University of Notre Dame to develop, deploy and market the online platform and courses for Notre Dame’s first online master of science degree with a specialization in data science. Announced in August 2016, this degree program will prepare graduates for careers as data scientists in a wide range of industry fields, including information technology, finance, consulting, scientific research, health care, marketing, government policy and education. The 21-month degree program, offered at half-time pace to fit the schedule of working professionals, features the flexibility of online learning, small classes led by Notre Dame faculty and exclusive in-person weekend immersions with faculty, industry experts and thought leaders at Notre Dame and in Silicon Valley. AT&T and Notre Dame have agreed to an ongoing collaboration around this degree.

In contrast to the traditional approaches of either outsourcing to an online program management provider and sharing the revenue or doing everything in house, Notre Dame chose a different path. They chose to find an unbundled service provider that could build custom technology and courses on a fee-for-service basis while complementing the University’s internal resources. This approach allows Notre Dame to maintain greater control over pedagogy, student experience, marketing strategy and revenue model.

“We believe that creating a unique and highly engaging online experience for the student was critical for the success of this program and will allow us to be highly differentiated. This is difficult, if not impossible, to do with off-the-shelf solutions or revenue-share models.” said Elliott Visconsi, Notre Dame’s chief academic digital officer. “We have the internal team, faculty and an ongoing collaboration with AT&T to create a unique experience; Notre Dame needed a service provider like ExtensionEngine who had the creativity, experience and technical competencies to help make our vision a reality.”

ExtensionEngine will enable Notre Dame to deliver the Data Science program using a customized platform. This will allow the university to offer appropriate and unique learning experiences for each type of course in the curriculum. A learner-centered approach to online course delivery also ensures clearly articulated learning paths, synchronous (weekly, live instruction) and asynchronous (self-scheduled) learning opportunities, communication and collaboration tools, interactive content, video content, progress tracking and feedback, a broad range of assessment types, social networking capabilities, and standardized navigation. Select courses will even take advantage of specialized features on the customized platform depending on the subject area, such as peer-to-peer assessment, online code graders, and automated assessments.

ExtensionEngine develops custom learning experiences, which leverage the latest techniques in learning science and advances in technology to involve the learner and get them to collaborate and act, thereby resulting in deeper learning. A fee-for-service custom service provider, they take a comprehensive approach, providing instructional design, user experience, software development/QA, hosting/support, project management, and learner acquisition services.

“Elite higher education institutions, like the University of Notre Dame, are recognizing that high-end, custom online learning experiences can be engaging, differentiating and produce great student experiences and outcomes. They can put pedagogy over platform and are no longer constrained by generic learning management systems.” said Furqan Nazeeri, Partner at ExtensionEngine, “We are very proud to have been selected by Notre Dame to contribute to this innovative program.”

About ExtensionEngine
ExtensionEngine develops custom learning experiences, delivering next generation online and blended learning for universities, corporations, and not-for-profits. The company takes an innovative, unbundled, fee-for-service approach to strategy, instructional design, UX/UI, software development/QA, hosting/support and learner acquisition services. A privately held company based in Cambridge, MA, ExtensionEngine has launched over 70 online programs for more than 40 organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.extensionengine.com.


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Donna von Halle
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