University of Michigan Announces First Slate of edX Courses

(Image: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

(Image: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

The University of Michigan's Office of Digital Education and Innovation has announced its first online courses through the education platform edX.

The four free courses will appear on the popular online education platform beginning in April. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, their subjects 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.

James DeVaney, the associate vice provost for digital education and innovation, said:

Our first four MichiganX MOOCs reflect our aspirations to make the resources of the university available to the broadest possible range of global learners. We have learned a great deal from out first 40 MOOCs and continue to seed faculty-led academic innovation aligned with our values of diversity, inclusion, and academic excellence.

The school's Office of Digital Education and Innovation plans to convert 200 of its existing courses to MOOCs by 2017, reports Erin McCann of Michigan News.

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making, developed by finance professor Gautam Kaul, begins on April 5. The course was designed to be an accessible introduction to the subject, and has become one of the world's most popular MOOCs. Topics include frameworks for financial decision-making, the basics of making sound decisions, and the concept of Time Value of Money. The recommended prerequisite is high school algebra.

Data Science Ethics, by electrical engineering and computer science professor H.V. Jagadash, begins May 1. Subjects covered include who owns data, how we value different aspects of privacy, how to get informed consent, and what it means to be fair. The course is designed to benefit everyone, and no prerequisites are necessary.

Social Work: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era, was created by Mary Ruffolo, Barbara Hiltz, and Katie-Richards-Schuster. The course, designed for potential Master's students, begins July 1. Topics in this introductory course include core values of social workers, roles social workers perform, how to apply a social justice lens, and strategies social workers have found to be effective for creating change.

Practical Learning Analytics has already reached 3,000 students. It was created by professor of physics, astronomy, and education Tim McKay. Subjects covered include performance prediction in a course, how institutions are creating early warning systems, and how to apply learning analytics. The edX course starts July 1.

UM was one of the first universities to offer MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and has reached more than 4 million learners through its online courses.

The university became a charter member of edX last October, and has also partnered with Coursera and NovoEd, according to the Associated Press.

EdX was founded in 2012 as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. According to Alexandra Bahou of Fox 47 News, its catalog includes more than 650 courses. Each course is entirely free, with a small charge to receive a verified certificate of completion.

For more details, visit the MichiganX homepage.

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