CU-Boulder learning its own lessons from online teaching

For the first three weeks of teaching a massive open online course—MOOC—about comic books and graphic novels, William Kuskin felt as disconnected from his thousands of students as David Bowie’s floating astronaut, Major Tom, the Daily Camera reports.

But in the fourth week, the University of Colorado English professor began to feel more globally connected than he’d ever felt before. Every day from that point on, his “students” from around the world flooded his inbox with thoughts about his MOOC on Coursera, the platform that offers free online courses around the world.

After CU’s first semester offering MOOCs to the world last fall, the resounding feeling among faculty who participated was that it was a worthwhile experience and one that they’ll spend the spring assessing and discussing.

In all, 125,399 people enrolled in the four MOOCs CU offered through Coursera. Of those who enrolled, 2,720 completed the four courses.

Kuskin, who chairs the CU-Boulder MOOC working group, said he was both surprised and challenged when teaching his MOOC, “Comic Books and Graphic Novels.”

“This turned out to be among the greatest teaching experiences I’ve ever had,” Kuskin said. “It forced me to think about who I am as a teacher. Anytime you reflect on your own practice is great. This made me think about what I do.”

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