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Hanlon and On-line Education

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports that Phil Hanlon has been involved in on-line education:

Hanlon is on the advisory board of Coursera Inc., a provider of online university courses that has signed up more than 30 schools including Michigan, Caltech and Princeton University. He said another early priority is to determine Dartmouth’s place in the online course arena.

Numerous professors at Michigan have taught courses with the on-line service, according to a Michigan press release:

In the coming months at least seven U-M professors will offer free online courses on such diverse topics as finance, electronic voting, computer vision, and fantasy and science fiction using a new Web-based platform called Coursera.

“Our faculty members are eager to share their knowledge globally and our students are equally excited about experimenting with this new approach to learning,” says President Mary Sue Coleman.

Coursera is an educational company founded in the fall of 2011 by two Stanford University computer science professors. The company announced today that U-M is one of four world-class universities that will make Web-based courses available at no cost through the website. The others are Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford…

Provost Phil Hanlon says teaming up with other top-ranked universities through Coursera “gives our faculty members who love to teach an opportunity to collaborate with others to shape the future of online education.”

“While our faculty members have much to offer through an online approach, as an institution we also have much to learn about how to make the best use of this new teaching tool,” Hanlon says.

Hanlon is also on record as seeing on-line education as a complement to classroom work:

Phil Hanlon, a provost at the University of Michigan, said he wasn’t worried the free offerings would cut into his school’s appeal. On the contrary, he said the technology would enhance the campus experience. Professors could direct students to watch online lectures to learn the nuts and bolts of a given subject, freeing class time for hands-on activities that can’t be replicated in cyberspace, he said.

Addendum: The names of the members of Coursera’s advisory board do not seem to be available on-line.


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