Online’s range getting wider and deeper as Stanford’s course offerings take advantage of new technology

March 26, 2013

Stanford University campus from above (credit: Jawed Karim/Wikimedia Commons)

Around 20 Stanford courses will be taught entirely or partially online this spring.

Some courses have been taught before, others are brand new; some are entirely for public consumption, while others are reserved for on-campus students.

The offerings have expanded beyond computer science and engineering to political science, the humanities, and public health, among many other fields.

MOOCs for everyone

Among the massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered in spring is Comparative Democratic Development, taught by Larry Diamond, a professor of political science and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Diamond describes his course as a “broad, introductory survey of the political, social, cultural, economic, institutional and international factors that foster and obstruct the development and consolidation of democracy.”

Other courses include Graph Partitioning and Expanders, aimed at advanced students; Mobile Health Without Borders (structured like a conference, with lectures by a wide array of experts, online discussions and team projects); Introduction to Child Nutrition, complete with videos on how to cook healthful meals for kids; Social and Economic Networks, Statistics in Medicine, a rerun of Machine Learning, taught by Andrew Ng, one of Coursera’s co-founders.

Stanford has been a pioneer in online learning, or distance learning, for decades, and it continues devoting attention to pre-MOOC vehicles. Among them are the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) and Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), both at the School of Engineering. SCPD currently is offering for-tuition courses leading to certificates and graduate degrees. SEE offers open education resources for popular Stanford engineering classes; there is no charge.

For a complete list of upcoming courses, as well as archived material from past classes and information on seed grants, visit Stanford Online.