When sociology instructor Tim Robicheaux took on the task of launching the College of the Liberal Arts’ first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC), he decided he wanted to do something new and different. First, he wanted to offer the course simultaneously for free and for credit. And second, he wanted to infuse a rich interdisciplinary perspective into the course.
In the early stages of the project, Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship (DPS) worked to pave the way for the for-credit option by guiding the project through the University Senate and the University MOOC Council. Once the project was approved, we turned our attention to delivering a product that served the instructor’s interdisciplinary vision.
Working closely with the College’s Filipelli institute, who led the overall course design, we planned and executed a video production strategy that delivered a rich learning experience, and also worked within tight budget and time constraints. The Coursera platform on which the course was delivered, relies heavily on video and the instructor saw video as his opportunity to bring other voices into the conversation. We recorded interviews with scholars at Penn State and practitioners across Pennsylvania.
The course was delivered to 15,000 students in the summer of 2014.