Massive Open Online Courses

Slope of Enlightenment
UMN Assessment
Doing Well
Time Frame
Less Than 2 Years
Last Updated on Sep 12, 2014

The massive open online course (MOOC) is an online phenomenon made possible by: (1) social networking facilitation of acknowledged expert(s) in a field of study; (2) freely accessible online resources; and (3) hundreds to thousands of registered students. MOOCs have free (no fee) open enrollment to anyone anywhere with network access. MOOCs do not seek or require accreditation. Students self-organize their participation in a MOOC. However, even student "lurkers" are welcome.

MOOCs at the University of Minnesota
In February 2013, the University of Minnesota announced a non-exclusive partnership with Coursera to develop Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). During the first round, five University of Minnesota faculty members collaborated with staff from Information Technology and from the Office of the Provost to deliver their courses as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) using the Coursera platform:

  • Chris Cramer (College of Science and Engineering), "Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics"
  • Jason Hill (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences), "Sustainability of Food Systems: A Global Life Cycle Perspective"
  • Karen Monsen (School of Nursing), "Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics"
  • Michael Oakes (School of Public Health), "Social Epidemiology"
  • Peggy Root (College of Veterinary Medicine), "Canine Theriogenology for Dog Enthusiasts"

In 2014, a second round of six MOOCs went into production:

  • William Durfee and James Van de Ven (Mechanical Engineering), "Fundamentals of Fluid Power"
  • James Fricton (Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic), "Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach"
  • Matt McGue (Psychology), "Introduction to Human Behavioral Genetics"
  • Ann Masten (Institute of Child Development), "Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives"
  • Brad Hokansen (Design, Housing and Apparel), "Creative Problem Solving"
  • Shashi Shekhar and Brent Hecht (Computer Science), "From GPS and Global Maps to Spatial Computing"


Technology Applications


  • 07/24/14

    Additional Information

    Chris Cramer. "Tales From the MOOC Frontier: Institutional and Individual Experiences." Paper presented at the ...

  • 07/24/14

    Related Research

    Chris Parr. "The Scholarly Web." Times Higher Education 2075 (08 November 2012): 26.