UT to launch five free "massive open online courses" or MOOCs this fall

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UT will be offering free online courses available to anyone around the world starting this fall.

Four courses will be offered in the fall, including "Ideas of the 20th Century," "Introduction to Globalization," "Bench to Bedside: Introduction to Drug Development and the Commercialization Process" and "Energy Technology & Policy." Next spring, another five courses will be offered including "Jazz Appreciation," "Foundations of Data Analysis," "Mathematics and Effective Thinking," "Introduction to Embedded Systems" and "Linear Algebra: Theory and Computation."

Harrison Keller, vice provost for higher education policy and research senior lecturer, said the classes, created by UT professors, will offer students a certificate of mastery or completion at the end of the course but will not qualify for course credit for current UT students.

“UT is one of the leading institutions in technology-enhanced learning education,” Keller said. “This is one of the most interesting frontiers we’re exploring. These courses are aimed at personal enrichment and lifelong learning.”

The University recently joined the edX program, a not-for-profit organization providing free online learning that was started by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The program also includes Wellesley College, Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley.