U-M announces first massive open online courses on edX platform


The University of Michigan Office of Digital Education & Innovation will launch its first four courses on the edX platform, beginning in April.

U-M, one of the first universities to offer free massive open online courses (MOOCs), became a charter member of edX in October.

The courses to be launched this spring and summer are: Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making; Data Science Ethics; Social Work: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era; and Practical Learning Analytics. 

“Our first four MichiganX MOOCs reflect our aspirations to make the resources of the university available to the broadest possible range of global learners,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for digital education and innovation.

“We have learned a great deal from our first 40 MOOCs and continue to seed faculty-led academic innovation aligned with our values of diversity, inclusion and academic excellence.”

DeVaney said with the new MOOCs, the Office of Digital Education & Innovation continues progress toward a goal to transform at least 200 courses by 2017.

Enrollment is now open for Finance for Everyone, which will begin April 5. Data Science Ethics begins May 1. Social Work and Practical Learning Analytics will both launch July 1.

Founded in 2012, edX was created to increase global access to high-quality education for everyone via online learning and the enhancement of teaching and learning through research. It has partnerships with more than 90 members, and is the only nonprofit and open source MOOC provider and online learning destination.

To date, U-M has reached more than 4 million lifelong learners through MOOCs developed by faculty in partnership with the Office of Digital Education & Innovation. As part of a diverse, digital innovation strategy, U-M partners with edX, Coursera and NovoEd.

About the courses

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making

Gautam Kaul, the Fred M. Taylor Professor of Business Administration and professor of finance, developed this course to provide a framework for a lifetime of smart decision-making based on finance theory. It is one of the world’s most popular MOOCs.

Kaul aims to open up finance theory to new audiences, especially those who otherwise may have limited access to formalized tools and resources.

According to the Global Financial Literacy Survey, only one third of the world’s population is considered financially literate. The MOOC serves as an approachable gateway into the financial domain for a diverse, global and novice audience.

Data Science Ethics

H.V. Jagadish, the Bernard A. Galler Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, designed this course to cultivate guidelines for ethical practices that are broadly applicable throughout the data science field.

He has worked to leverage data to promote social good through a Gates Foundation Grant, and is widely published on the issue of ethical use of data.

Jagadish created the course to reach global learners and also provide high-quality courseware that can be used by current U-M students interested in data science.

Audiences that include novice learners, students and practitioners in all fields of study and industry will find this MOOC integral for addressing issues regarding ethics, data ownership and privacy in data science.

Social Work: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era

This course, developed by Professor Mary Ruffolo, Assistant Professor Barbara Hiltz and Assistant Professor Katie Richards-Schuster, all of the School of Social Work, will explore the foundations of social work as a profession.

It defines the Michigan perspective on the social work profession for a broad, global audience through a progressive series of online modules.

Learners interested in exploring a career in social work will examine the integration of practice and theory while exploring postgraduate options in order to delve further into the role of social work. In addition, through this MOOC, Michigan will engage incoming Master of Social Work students.

Practical Learning Analytics

Tim McKay, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics and director of the LSA Honors Program, initially introduced Practical Learning Analytics as the first U-M MOOC to encourage group participation and dialogue as a model for participation.

This unique learning model focuses on analytical approaches to make personalized data actionable in order to improve learning.

Already reaching more than 3,000 learners, the course aims to help other institutions use their own data to improve curricula and teaching methods.

The MOOC will feature a more succinct model that increases the interactive learner experience and provides learners with more autonomy in selecting course material, thereby increasing the accessibility of Practical Learning Analytics to a broader audience. 



    on April 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Finance for Everyone sounds really interesting.

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.