University of Tennessee

  • Coursera Contract with UT System Released; History Chair Says No MOOCs at Knoxville This Fall

    by David Austin Walsh

    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, will not be providing massive online open courses for the Silicon Valley tech startup Coursera in the coming semester, says UT Knoxville history department chair Thomas Burman.“This decision does not affect us at all,” he wrote in an email.Only two classes will be offered on the Coursera platform across the entire UT system in fall 2013: an introductory music course at the Martin campus, and freshman English composition at UT Chattanooga.The Tennessean reports that the Coursera partnership is an internal pilot program designed to familiarize faculty with online courses and new technology. The courses offered by the program will only be available on a for-credit basis to already-enrolled UT students.No history courses are planned to be offered under the program.“When the topic [of online education] came up for a wide-ranging discussion among campus leadership [in 2011],” Bruman wrote, “the widely-shared view, including among the central academic administrators, was that on-line teaching has a place in a limited number of areas here, especially in the professional schools, but is not what this campus is about.”