Online Courses and Learning Environments
Princeton’s online course initiative offers faculty members the opportunity to enhance the quality of education on campus while sharing free course content with students around the world. More than one million students have enrolled in the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that Princeton faculty members have developed and delivered through the Coursera and NovoEd platforms since Spring of 2012. These online offerings have varied widely in terms of their subject matter (e.g., sociology, history, politics, computer science, astrophysics, religion, philosophy, statistics, and electrical engineering), their length (ranging from six to twelve weeks), their timing (sometimes, but not always, running concurrently with the Princeton courses upon which they are based), and their many special features, formats and assessments.
A number of faculty are also using online course platforms to experiment with teaching their Princeton students by a method known as “flipping” the class. In these instances, students view new course content in recorded lectures in advance of face-to-face class meetings. Class time with faculty can then be used for discussions, problem solving and other interactive exercises that deepen students’ command of course material. In other cases, faculty are using online learning environments to extend and enrich their classroom activities.
The McGraw Center is the coordinating center for the design, production and delivery of online courses at Princeton. The McGraw staff works closely with faculty members to create course sites; design, produce and upload recorded lectures and other course materials to online platforms; and coordinate the management of our online learning environments. Faculty members interested in developing an online course or experimenting with these innovative teaching tools should begin the process by consulting Jeff Himpele in the McGraw Center or Clayton Marsh in the Office of the Dean of the College.