Profs get ready for tens of thousands of students in online courses

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tags: MOOCs, University of Virginia, Philip Zelikow, PressZoom, Coursea

University of Virginia history professor Philip Zelikow stands by the statue of the “Bird Man,” as many on Grounds call it, and tells who the statue represents and how the sculptor interpreted the man’s story. Zelikow describes the statue as a symbol of how the world entered the modern age after World War I.

His lesson is part of the video that introduces his massive open online course, or MOOC. “The Modern World: Global History Since 1760” debuts today on Coursera, an online education company started last year by two Stanford University professors.

Zelikow, the White Burkett Miller Professor of History, is one of five U.Va. professors teaching the first group of MOOCs this semester, who have been working hard to make interesting videos and adapt educational materials to virtual classrooms full of unprecedented numbers of students.

U.Va. is among 33 universities whose faculty are offering courses through Coursera. More than 2 million people around the world have signed up for the classes....

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