Earth and Mineral Sciences a key contributor in Penn State's Coursera movement

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) is proud to be a key contributor as the University joins the leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform, Coursera. This new partnership between Penn State and Coursera will make it possible for the University to provide courses on a larger scale than ever before and to contribute more fully to the open higher education movement. Five courses will be offered by Penn State in its initial Coursera launch. Two of these MOOCs will come from EMS: Maps and the Geospatial Revolution (taught by Anthony Robinson, Department of Geography) and Earth, the Environment and Our Future (taught by Richard Alley, Department of Geosciences). Since Feb. 21 -- the day the University announced that it was joining Coursera -- enrollments in both courses have been phenomenal and continue to climb. The additional Penn State MOOC offerings include Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques (College of Arts and Architecture), Creativity, Innovation and Change (College of Engineering), and Epidemics: The Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (Eberly College of Science). The Penn State Coursera offerings are open for immediate enrollment at

Director of the Dutton e-Education Institute Ann Taylor said the opportunity to engage in the MOOC movement offers the University the chance to build on its existing position of leadership in online and distance learning. "We have an incredible amount of experience as a college and as a University in online learning, backed by a strong learning design infrastructure. We also have a rich Open Educational Resources initiative in EMS. By offering select courses in a MOOC format, we have the opportunity to showcase our college's academic strengths and our outstanding faculty, to further extend our disciplines to both internal and external audiences to address societal issues, to experiment with the affordances of the Coursera platform and apply our learning to our online and hybrid course designs, and to explore ways to excite new audiences about our fields of study and attract students to our World Campus courses and programs."

To learn more about the University's new partnership with Coursera, see the article "Penn State joins MOOC movement to offer free online courses."

For information about the College's Dutton e-Education Institute, see

Access to the college's Open Educational Resources can be found at

Last Updated February 27, 2013