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University of Michigan to Launch Four MichiganX MOOCs

This spring the Office of Digital Education & Innovation (DEI) will launch its first four courses on edX: Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making; Data Science Ethics; Social Work: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era; and Practical Learning Analytics. With these four massive open online courses (MOOCs), DEI continues to progress towards its goal to transform at least 200 courses by 2017, to advance its vision of equitable and advanced education for all, and create a world that harnesses technology and learning analytics to provide high quality personalization at scale.

“Our first four MichiganX MOOCs reflect our aspirations to make the resources of the university available to the broadest possible range of global learners,” says James DeVaney, Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education & 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.”

Professor Gautam Kaul, already an established proponent of MOOCs, DEI’s Innovator in Residence, and the creator of one of the world’s most popular MOOCs, developed Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making to provide a framework for a lifetime of smart decision making based on finance theory. Professor Kaul is aims to open up finance theory to new audiences, especially those who otherwise may have limited access to formalized tools and resources to learn about finance. According to the Global Financial Literacy Survey, only one third of the world’s population is considered financially literate; in the US, women experience a gender gap of negative ten percentage points compared to men with regards to  financial knowledge. The Finance for Everyone MOOC serves as an approachable gateway into the financial domain for a diverse, global and novice audience by providing a framework that provides tools for a lifetime of smart decision making.

Professor H.V. Jagadish designed Data Science Ethics to cultivate guidelines for ethical practices that are broadly applicable throughout the data science field. As an expert in data science, Professor Jagadish has worked to leverage data to promote social good through a Gates Foundation Grant and has contributed to publications such as Slate Magazine, U.S. News and The Conversation US on topics related to the ethical use of data before bringing data science ethics to a broader range of learners though this MOOC.  Professor Jagadish designed this course, which aims to set the standard for ethical data science practices in data science, to reach global learners and also provide high quality courseware that can be used by current U-M students interested in data science. A multitude of audiences, including 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 is a modular online course developed by Professors Mary Ruffolo, Barbara Hiltz, and Katie Richards-Schuster as a way to explore the foundations of social work as a profession. As the first MOOC from the U-M School of Social Work, 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 further delve into the role of social work. In addition, through this MOOC, Michigan will engage incoming Master of Social Work students as they enter the program.  

Already an established and successful MOOC, Practical Learning Analytics will soon be available on the edX platform. Professor Tim McKay 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. Having already reached over 3,000 learners, Practical Learning Analytics aims to help other institutions use their own learning analytics effectively in order to improve curricula and teaching methods. The MOOC will feature a more succinct model that increases the interactive learner experience and provide learners with more autonomy in selecting course material, thereby increasing the accessibility of Practical Learning Analytics to a broader audience.     

edX was founded in 2012 to increase global access to high-quality education for everyone via online learning and the enhancement of teaching and learning through research. edX has forged partnerships with over 90 members, including partnering with U-M as a Charter Member in October, 2015. It  is the only nonprofit and open source MOOC provider and online learning destination.

DEI aims to shape the future of learning and redefine public residential education at a 21st century research university by unlocking new opportunities and enabling personalized, engaged, and lifelong learning for the U-M community and learners around the world. To date, U-M has reached more than 4 million lifelong learners through MOOCs developed by faculty in partnership with DEI and continues to be a pioneer in digital learning and learning analytics. As a part of a diverse, digital innovation strategy to ultimately enable lifelong learners to change the world U-M partners with edX, Coursera and NovoEd.

Enrollment is currently open for Finance for Everyone, which will begin on April 5, Data Science Ethics, which will begin on May 1. Social Work and Practical Learning Analytics will both launch on July 1. For additional information and/or to enroll please visit MichiganX.