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Online learning pioneer will speak Thursday

By
From page A1 | December 05, 2012 |

Daphne Koller. Courtesy photo

Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, a major provider of massive open online courses, will talk about this new development in online learning when she visits UC Davis on Thursday.

Her talk, “The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone,” will run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 1003 Kemper Hall on the UCD campus. It is free and open to the public.

Koller is a professor of computer science at Stanford University and the co-founder of Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with top universities to make the best education freely accessible to everyone. In her research life, Koller works in the area of machine learning.

She has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/ Infosys award and membership in the National Academy of Engineering. She is an award-winning teacher who pioneered many of the ideas that underlie the Coursera user experience.

She received her BSc and MSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her Ph.D. from Stanford in 1994.

“We are at the cusp of a major transformation in higher education,” Koller says. “In the past year, we have seen the advent of MOOCs — massively open online classes — top-quality courses from the best universities offered for free. These courses exploit technology to provide a real course experience to students, including video content, interactive exercises with meaningful feedback, using both auto-grading and peer-grading, and rich peer-to-peer interaction around the course materials.”

As of last month, Coursera offers 207 courses from its 33 university partners to more than 1.9 million students in 196 countries. The courses range from bridge/gateway courses all the way through graduate courses; topics include computer science, business, medicine, science, humanities and social sciences.

“I’ll report on this far-reaching experiment in education, and why we believe this model can provide both an improved classroom experience for our on-campus students, via a flipped classroom model, as well as a meaningful learning experience for the millions of students around the world who would otherwise never have access to education of this quality,” Koller said in a news release.

For more information, contact Andy Jones, a lecturer in the UCD Writing Program who edits “The Wheel,” UCD’s instructional technology blog, at aojones@ucdavis.edu.

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