Purdue, edX and NanoHUB-U Combine for Online Courses


Purdue University and edX have teamed up through a 2-year agreement to start offering a range of high-tech online courses. The very first PurdueX courses developed by Purdue NExT and nanoHUB-U will be available in spring 2015. This was made possible through an agreement with edX, a leading provider of MOOCs.

The Purdue-edX partnership will deliver advanced undergraduate and some beginning graduate-level courses taught by world-class professors.

In 2016, NanoHUB-U will develop 5 nanotechnology courses and Purdue NExT, which has almost 40 online courses, will develop 5 new courses for edX. Purdue is also requesting faculty participants to help develop other courses which can be offered through the platform.

Stephen Beaudoin, the interim associate vice provost for academic affairs at Purdue said that

"The goal of this partnership between Purdue and edX is to determine the potential for significant impact we can have on students and professionals around the world by offering Purdue courses through edX's MOOC platform."

Bryan Boudouris, chemical engineering professor at Purdue, will teach a 5 week organic electronic devices course and Bart Collins, a communications professor, will offer a 5 week course designed around strategic communication. Both courses will begin on February 12.

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Thomas Duncan, Supriyo Datta, will start a course later. It will focus on his approach to nano-electronics.

In order to take these edX courses, students or professionals do not have to be registered with Purdue. They must sign up with edX.org for the PurdueX classes though. Even though they will not receive any credit for completing the course, by paying a small fee they can receive a certificate indicating completion of the course satisfactorily.

The chief executive officer of edX, Anant Agarwal, said:

"From science and art to technology and nanoenginereering, edX is pleased to partner with Purdue and its impressive lineup of online classes offered by some of the best professors in the world. Edx invites everyone anywhere to access our peer-to-peer social learning tools to connect with smart and passionate people from around the world."

Boudouris' course, Organic Electronic Devices, consists of both upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students. It is a 5 week class will 5 modules focused on organic materials. Each lecture are 20-minute long, and will be delivered online through YouTube. Students will also have quizzes, tests and homework assignments.

Purdue Professor Bryan Boudouris explained the impact these courses can have:

"These classes offered by Purdue through edX could dramatically increase the number of students who could take a given course – anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand students. Hopefully, people will think of Purdue when they think about polymer electronics now."

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