Yale Adds On-Demand MOOCs on Coursera Platform


Yale has debuted a slate of on-demand MOOCs on the Coursera platform with the courses “Introduction to Negotiation”, “ A Law Student’s Toolkit”, and “The Global Financial Crisis” responding to learners’ needs for more flexibility and zero wait-time for enrollment cycles.

These MOOCs are Yale’s first on-demand massive open online courses since the University started offering digital courses through Coursera in 2014.

Coursera has been offering on-demand classes for a few months now as a response to student complaints regarding course accessibility. With Coursera’s on-demand feature, students can enroll at any given time to a self-paced course rather than wait for the next enrollment opening. The decision to offer on-demand courses through Coursera aims to boost Yale’s educational impact:

“We want to extend the reach of some of this incredible educational material from the best Yale faculty members,” Lucas Swineford, Yale’s executive director of digital dissemination and online education said.

Yale’s first on-demand course is “The Global Financial Crisis” taught by professor Andrew Metrick and Timothy Geithner, who is a former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Professor Barry Nalebuff teaches the course “Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator.” It analyzes basic negotiation concepts through the examination of cases and takes a deep look at advanced concepts such as ‘Negotiating When You Have No Power’, ‘Game Theory and the SAT’, and ‘Winning versus Succeeding’.

The course launched in August 2015 and numbers more than 10,000 enrolled students so far, the Yale Office of Digital Dissemination and Online Education says. Nalebuff, in his comments about the on-demand course, highlighted the convenience and freedom students enjoy:

“The students have much more control,” he said. “They can rewind or jump ahead.”

The “A Law Student’s Toolkit” by Ian Ayres focuses on 30 legal and philosophical concepts essential for first-year law students. Explaining the importance of the course for these students, Ayres said:

“These are concepts that are raised in class after class and can really give you a leg up in studying law. I call this a tool kit because these are concepts that can be deployed in making arguments and analyzing the law.”

The eleven-week course on “The Global Financial Crisis” examines the causes, events, reactions and impact of the 2008 economic downturn. The course takes a look inside the housing crisis, the ‘Global Savings Glut’, the Eurozone crisis, and the aftermath.

The on-demand courses come with an automatic cohort setting that offers students some sense of direction and discipline. The auto-cohort sessions are created anew roughly every three weeks, allowing students to study a self-paced course anytime they wish and reducing re-enrolling cycles to zero. Every month, a new course session with new deadlines and discussion forums is brought forth giving students the ability to connect with fellow students.

Commenting on the on-demand MOOC format, Timothy Metrick said the online discussion forums will give students the essential learner-to-learner interaction and still give the control necessary to monitor student performance, the Yale Daily News says.

Yale started offering its courses online in 2007 through Open Yale Courses, and seven years later introduced its first official MOOCs.