MOOCs at UNC see large turnout

UNC lauds itself as equipping students with a world-class education, and now students across the globe are beginning to reap the benefits UNC professors have to offer, The Daily Tarheel reports.

The ever-changing environment of higher education has reached a new level in the form of massive open online courses, otherwise known at MOOCs.

MOOCs, which are free and accessible by anyone with internet access, are taught using pre-recorded lectures.

As of January 2014, UNC began offering several MOOCs of its own, including “What’s Your Big Idea?”, an entrepreneurship course co-taught by professor Buck Goldstein and former Chancellor Holden Thorp, who is now provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Donald Hornstein, who teaches the course, “Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy,” said he has a wide variety of students enrolled in his class. His course is the first UNC MOOC to return for a second semester.

“I had people in the fall who would go online and talk to us from the Amazon or sub-Saharan Africa,” he said. “On the other hand, there were homeschooling teenagers from the U.S., and this gave them a community with which to engage.”

Goldstein said he is shocked by the popularity of his course — around 30,000 students signed up for the course, he said.

He said one of the most essential aspects of his MOOC is the forum section for students.

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