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Free Computer Science Courses, New Teaching Technology Reinvent Online Education

By Stanford Report (CA)

August 23, 2011

Stanford professors will offer popular computer science courses online for free in the autumn, and are launching an experiment that could radically change the delivery of online education.

"By opening up education, we hope to give more learning, job, and advancement opportunities to anyone who wants them," says Computer Science Department chair Jennifer Widom.

The professors are taking technologies designed to augment student learning and extending them to a wider online audience. Lectures are being delivered as short, interactive video clips, while live quizzes with instant feedback also are being offered.

"With technologies that give you immediate feedback, a student can immediately determine what they do and don't understand, and more efficiently focus their efforts," says Stanford professor Andrew Ng.

The experiment also involves testing new technologies that enable students to rank questions that should be posed to teachers.

The online courses are based on recent innovations to boost student-professor engagement, and they include the ClassX video-processing platform to effect lecture recording, the CourseWare online course hosting site with social networking capability, and the OpenClassroom Web platform for sharing Stanford lectures.

From Stanford Report (CA)
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