“This initiative is very engaging for three reasons,” William and Mary President Taylor Reveley said in announcing the plan. “First, it is an opportunity for William and Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to step into the world of MOOCs. This is a world we should get to know. Second, it’s hard to imagine two institutions more expert at crafting a compelling course about Virginia’s role in the struggle for American independence than William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. Our historians are at the cutting edge. Third, working together with the foundation, our neighbor and partner in many ways, will be a mutually rewarding delight.”

It advances some of the curriculum development work that Colonial Williamsburg has already done for elementary and secondary education.

“The initiative in partnership with the College of William and Mary is a welcome and logical extension of the foundation’s increasing use of technology in our … educational offerings and in the Revolutionary City,” said Colonial Williamsburg President Colin Campbell in a statement. “The opportunities to offer outstanding MOOCs at the post-secondary level are legion and there is a hunger for them. The college/foundation partnership is taking a significant step to helping to meet that demand.”

Colonial Williamsburg and the college will work together to develop a detailed proposal for the course — which William and Mary Professor James Whittenburg has been tapped to teach — and to seek donor support for funding.

©2014 The Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, Va.). Visit The Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, Va.) at www.vagazette.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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