Innovating for tomorrow’s online learners

CU hosts global Coursera Conference at CU Boulder
Cathy Beuten | CU System
Community, Education, Progress

CU Deborah Keyek-Franssen

Deborah Keyek-Franssen

The University of Colorado is honored to have been chosen by online learning provider Coursera to host its fifth annual Coursera Partners Conference, March 29-31 at CU Boulder.

The prestigious conference attracts more than 450 education leaders from across the globe, including China, India, the U.K. and Russia.

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

“CU faculty continue to experiment with designing courses for at-scale learning,” Keyek-Franssen said. “We are proud that their efforts are recognized by education and industry partners worldwide.”

Topics to be discussed include reflections and plans for the year ahead from Coursera’s leadership team, such as:

  • Key learnings from the first five years of offering MOOCs
  • The shifting role of universities in providing lifelong learning
  • Coursera’s product vision including personalizing the learning experience at scale and new tools to facilitate high-touch learning experiences for degree-seeking learner

The event will highlight the progress Coursera has made in online education since launching in 2012, and provide insight into its long-term vision for enabling anyone across the globe to transform his or her life through learning.

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 celebrating the amazing accomplishments over the past five years with the university partners.

“It really is inspiring when you stop and think about how far we have come in a short time, and that is exactly what we are going to do at the conference,” Raineri said. “I am also eager to share with them our new ideas and opportunities and explore how we can expand their impact. This is an exciting time for Coursera, for our Partners and, importantly, for our learners.”

The conference consists of four tracks, with breakout sessions in each track focused on topics of interest to a particular audience - administrators and strategists, researchers, instructors, or course teams. Also, Coursera’s product and design teams will be seeking ideas for, and feedback on, the platform. Interested registrants can sign up here for one of the 45-minute design research sessions.

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. See the full conference agenda or register here