February 21, 2013: The University of Minnesota Partners with Coursera

Dear Colleagues,

I'm pleased to announce that the University has partnered with Coursera—a leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform—to develop free, noncredit online courses.

This pilot project is just one among many experiments our faculty are undertaking to explore the pedagogical possibilities of digital technologies, and is only one part of the U's broader eLearning strategy. You can read more about that strategy on my website, and you can learn more about the Coursera partnership from our news release.

I want to thank the deans for their help identifying excellent existing courses that could be quickly and usefully produced in the MOOC format; the faculty—Chris Cramer, Jason Hill, Karen Monsen, Michael Oakes, and Peggy Root—who have stepped up to develop and teach these initial offerings; the faculty who are interested in and actively working to produce additional offerings for later this year; and the staff in the Office of eLearning, the Office of Information Technology, University Libraries, and the Center for Teaching and Learning for their skilled and heroic work, undertaken on a very short timeline, to get these first five courses launched for enrollment.

As we proceed with these offerings, we will share what we learn about how MOOCs can best be used to advance our educational mission. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this announcement, please let me know at [email protected].


Karen Hanson,
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Email sent February 21, 2013 to all Twin Cities faculty.