March 28, 2017

University of Colorado hosts prestigious Coursera Partners Conference

Fifth annual event brings 100+ university partners to CU Boulder to reflect, discuss the future of education

The University of Colorado today announced it will host the fifth annual Coursera Partners Conference from March 29-31, 2017, at CU Boulder. Coursera is a leading online education company that offers thousands of online courses and certificates from top universities around the world.

The conference will bring together more than 450 education leaders from across the globe, including China, India, the U.K. and Russia. The event, also held in honor of Coursera’s fifth anniversary, will focus on the future role of online education, learnings from the past five years, and best practices for designing, creating, and delivering online courses.

Deborah Keyek-Franssen, associate vice president for digital education and engagement, said demand for MOOCs (massive open online courses) is growing and they remain one of the most visible examples of alternative credentials.

“CU faculty have been pioneers in the area of online education and especially MOOCs,” Keyek-Franssen said. “We are proud that their efforts are recognized by education and industry partners worldwide, and that our partnership with Coursera has brought this prestigious conference to the state of Colorado.”

Keynote speakers include Ted Mitchell, former Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education, and Ashok Goel, professor of computer science in the School of Interactive Computing, and director of the Ph.D. program in human-centered computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Coursera founder Daphne Koller will welcome participants, presenting “Celebrating What We’ve Learned in our First Five Years.” Rick Levin, Coursera’s chief executive officer and former president of Yale University, will kick-off the conference with “The Next Five Years: Innovating for Tomorrow’s Learners.”

Deanna Raineri, Coursera vice president of university partnerships and teaching and learning, said she is looking forward to both celebrating the past five years and looking ahead to what’s next for online education.

“As a leader in the online education space, the University of Colorado is an ideal location for our conference this year. The University has long been a very engaged partner and ready to work with us on innovative approaches to delivering education at scale, ” Raineri said. “We’re bringing our global network to Boulder this week to learn from each other and to together create a vision for what the future of online education will look like. It’s a unique opportunity to meet with many of the brightest minds in higher education.”

Hosted on the Coursera platform, CU’s 29 MOOCs are taught by 25 faculty members from all campuses and have reached 194 countries. CU has partnered with Coursera since 2013. CU will also have representatives speaking across the conference including CU Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano.

About the CU System

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. With more than 63,200 students (and another 8,000 taking courses for credit), over 4,900 full-time instructional faculty members and another 1,200 research faculty members, CU is the largest institution of higher education in the state of Colorado. CU’s annual budget is $3.8 billion. CU researchers attracted more than $924 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2015-16. The university’s Technology Transfer Office has helped launch more than 160 startups since 1994. Academic prestige is marked by CU’s five Nobel laureates, 10 MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 20 astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the CU system, and to access campus resources, go to

Contact:          Ken McConnellogue,, 303-815-8481

                          Deborah Keyek-Franssen,, 303-860-5671    

                          Charlotte Crawford,