Massively Open Online Course Update

As it is Open Access week, it seems timely to provide an update on our activity in the sphere of Open courses as well. Members of the educational technology community first saw the Provost’s announcement regarding University of Toronto entering into a partnership with Coursera in mid-July. Since that time we have had much interest and many discussions regarding the ideas and implications of our entry into the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) arena. The Coursera MOOC development is part of a larger landscape of openness at UofT, as reflected in the newly launched Open Utoronto initiative.

Here are a few highlights from recent activity and the process of design, development and delivery of Coursera MOOCs:

  • Two MOOCs from the Faculty of Arts and Science, Dept. of Computer Science launched in September and are now in progress.
  • In early 2013 a follow up to the “Learn to Program” MOOC and two more social science discipline MOOCs will be launched.
  • Development of courses is being supported locally within the division or department of the MOOC instructor(s).
  • Community round tables have been held to facilitate information sharing among MOOC instructors and support teams.
  • Enrolments as of late October were as follows:
MOOC Offerings Fall 2012 Registrations as of October 22, 2012
Learn to Program: The Fundamentals – Computer Science 83,222
Neural Networks for Machine Learning – Computer Science 35,282
MOOC Offerings Winter 2013
Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code – Computer Science 25,286
The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness – Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work 14,552
Aboriginal Worldviews and Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Total 169,574

A Provostial Committee has been established to guide the development of Open UToronto principles and practice.  The Committee will consult with members of the University community and will provide strategic advice and guidelines regarding online and open access resources and courses.

Please feel free to contact me by email at if you are interested in learning more about open course development. For general information about Open Utoronto contact

Also be sure to check out UTLibrary Open Access week information as there are lots of great events across our three campuses October 22-26, 2012.

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