Ohio State joins Coursera

Ohio State Joins Coursera

The Ohio State University today announced that it has joined with 17 top-tier institutions, including Brown, Florida, Columbia, Vanderbilt, and Maryland, in the newest round of participants in the open online education venture Coursera. Participating universities are offering courses taught by their own professors in a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, medicine, the arts and humanities, and the sciences. Coursera courses are delivered via the online Coursera platform and include lectures, associated readings, discussion groups, assignments, and both auto-graded and instructor-graded exams.

“Ohio State is experimenting with the Coursera model to see how we can most effectively use this technology to enhance our approach to education. Our primary goal with Coursera, as with every teaching and learning initiative, is to promote an exceptional student experience. We think Coursera has the potential to do just that," states Wayne Carlson, vice provost for undergraduate education.

Ohio State will initially offer two general interest courses through Coursera, Introduction to Pharmacy and a course modeled after the College of Pharmacy’s widely known and highly regarded Generation Rx program.

Introduction to Pharmacy is a survey of the profession of pharmacy including its history, evolving scope of practice, ethical foundations, regulation, educational and career opportunities, and more. The course will also explore topics relating to medication use and drug development.

Generation Rx uses science to investigate the prevalence, dangers, and misperceptions regarding the growing health problem of prescription drug abuse. Using a myth-busting design, the course will investigate the biology behind both therapeutic and illicit drug action and tie that biology to the real dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

Says Ken Hale, R.Ph., Ph.D., assistant dean for professional and external affairs in the College of Pharmacy, "I have taught Introduction to Pharmacy courses at Ohio State for many years.  The progression to Coursera provides a wonderful opportunity to extend the impact of my teaching to the national and international stage.  What a joy it will be to engage with students around the world about a topic about which I am very passionate!"

Coursera courses can be taken for free by anyone who signs up by providing an email address. Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help students master the material. Students in Coursera classes have the benefit of lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at their own pace, test their knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. University credit for these courses is not currently awarded.

Universities already associated with Coursera include Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rice University, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Washington, the University of Virginia, Princeton, Michigan, Illinois, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. 

Coursera was formed by two Stanford University professors to offer high-quality college-level courses online for free, creating new worldwide learning opportunities.  Over the next few months, new courses will continue to be added to the online platform, from current partners and from other top-tier educational institutions that join the consortium. To date, more than 1.3 million people have joined Coursera from around the globe.  For more information about Coursera, visit www.Coursera.org.