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FIU joins the MOOC revolution: Free online courses now available


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As of today, anyone, anywhere can take a course at FIU – for free.

Not just any class, but one of five courses that make up FIU’s initial offering of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), a trend that is sweeping the world of online learning. The five courses being offered, including entrepreneurship, real estate and a class on project management in English and Spanish, are free and open to anyone with access to the Internet.

“Our MOOCs offer a taste of some of the leading academic programs at FIU,” said Joyce Elam, dean of University College, the home of FIU Online. “We look forward to joining the global exchange of ideas that takes place among MOOC participants.”

Each of the courses in the initial launch is a self-directed, condensed version of a college-level course and takes about eight hours to complete. Participants can watch a short video of the content of each course as described by the instructor before enrolling.

To sign up go to www.open.fiu.edu. Students can enroll and complete the course at their own pace at any time starting on Jan. 28, 2013. At the end of the course, participants have the option of receiving a certificate of completion. No college credit will be awarded for completing a MOOC. Additional courses will be added later this spring.

These courses are part of FIU’s new Open Education initiative and were developed by FIU Online, the central academic unit for online courses and degrees from all colleges and schools within the university. Approximately 20 percent of all FIU for-credit courses are now taught online.

“We see the opportunity technology provides to fulfill our mission of engaging the local and global communities through our open education initiative,” said Dean Elam.  “The long-term plan is to offer courses that build on the strengths of the university and engage our alumni and others in lifelong learning.”

The five courses now available are:

  • Applied Real Estate: What you need to know about buying and selling residential real estate. The course will provide consumers of real estate services the information to facilitate their real estate decision making.
  • Entrepreneurship and New Ventures: This course will give students practical tools to help them rapidly assess the potential of a new business idea.
  • Legal and Ethical Governance: A Roadmap for Florida’s Public Officials and Employees: This course includes both theoretical and practical approaches to ethical issues commonly encountered by public officials and employees, with a particular emphasis on Florida law.
  • Project Management Basics: This course will provide key concepts and techniques for successfully managing projects from planning to completion.
  • Fundamentos para la Dirección de Proyectos: The complete Project Management Basics course taught in Spanish.

“These courses were designed using best practices in delivering online courses,” said Joseph Riquelme, director of FIU Online. “Students will have access to valuable content that will allow them to gain knowledge to advance their careers.”