U-Va. takes major step in online education

The leadership crisis that rent the University of Virginia last month arose partly out of fear that other elite schools were moving into the vanguard of a coming digital revolution, and that U-Va. stood to be left behind, the Washington Post reports. That argument, advanced by the leader of the university governing board, turned out to be based on a faulty premise. Almost no one on campus knew at the time the breadth of the collective investment that U-Va. was already making in online education. On Tuesday, the investment will yield a major payoff. The university is joining a prestigious online consortium led by two Stanford University professors. With one stroke, the Virginia public flagship heads toward the front of a potentially transformative movement to online learning on a global scale. The university’s participation in Coursera, an initiative to offer free online courses to the masses, answers a criticism that loomed large in the recent power struggle in Charlottesville that began with the abrupt resignation of President Teresa Sullivan and ended with her reinstatement…

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