UT in negotiations to launch free, open online courses

Print
Email
|

by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News and photojournalist JUSTIN TERRY

khou.com

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 7:20 AM

AUSTIN -- One week until classes and signs of life at UT unfolds and most students have already started settling in.

Alex Stahl and his father Bill are just trying to settle on a college for Alex Stahl to attend.

"You look for good professors nowadays," said the younger Stahl. "It's good to have a good online basis."

The 16-year-old should know. He graduated early to major in computer engineering and wants to make the right choice.

A new online push by UT could do some convincing.

Wednesday, regents discussed launching open courses on the Internet at no cost to the public.

School officials said negotiations with online providers are currently underway. Still, when and if it passes, the knowledge shared on the forty acres would no longer be confined to just a classroom.

"When the rest of the world sees the quality of the professors it could entice them to want to come here to get educated," said Bill Stahl. 

The bidding is between online providers Coursera and edX. Both already work with colleges worldwide, covering everything from circuits to statistics.

It's part of a bigger education movement.

Millions already visit websites such as khanacademy.org.

No one's earning college credit, but what about knowledge is power?

"At the end of the day, this is a way to better humanity," said Bill Stahl.

"Most of us are not great note-takers," Alex added. "So that would help us in like a review and it could almost be a supplement to every student."

School officials said final decisions should be wrapped up by the end of September.

UT already offers some foreign language classes for free online. If you'd like to sign up click here.
 

Print
Email
|