West Virginia University is one of the latest universities to participate in the education phenomenon of massive open online courses, a type of educational course that is free to the public.

A massive open online course, also known as a MOOC, is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the web in which participants co-create their learning experience. A recent example is Udacity, an education start-up launched by two computer science faculty at Stanford University whose first class on artificial intelligence generated an enrollment of 160,000 students in 190 countries.

The Department of Communication Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will be taking this step toward broadening access to education.

“The WVUCommMOOC is not a course for credit. It is a free, ungraded event designed to allow the public to explore some of the current issues involving the role of communication technologies in our personal and professional lives,” said Department Chair Matt Martin. “Participants can visit the MOOC when time permits, and be part of the discussion, or just tune in to see what others contribute.”

In week one, starting Feb. 4, Nicholas Bowman will present and moderate “Learning to Cope with Our Robot Overloads,” a session dedicated to examining the principles of human-computer-human communication. In week two, starting Feb. 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day, David Westerman will investigate online relationships with “Love at First Like.” In week three, starting Feb. 18, Alan Goodboy and Martin will address cyberbullying, and other destructive workplace behaviors in “Cyberbullying: The Dark Side of Online Communication.” In week four, starting Feb. 25, Elizabeth Cohen will moderate “Understanding and Conquering Technology Overload.”

Complete course descriptions are available online.

“Each section will become available online on its start date and will remain open for review and comment once it has gone up. So if you miss one week, you can see and complete it at a later time,” Martin said.

Those interested in joining one or all of the sessions, can register online. Registration is free and open to everyone.

“We hope that people of all ages and walks of life will take advantage of the expertise of our faculty and this new learning opportunity,” Martin said.

For more information visit the MOOC site, or contact Chair Matt Martin at Matt.Martin@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod; Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
304.293.9264; Rebecca.Herod@mail.wvu.edu

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