Want to learn the basics of electrical engineering? Study Socrates? Or discuss how religion and hip hop intersect?
Those are some of the newest online courses in development at Rice University.
Technically, they’re called MOOCs.
“It’s a massive open online class that the world has access to.”
That’s Caroline Levander with Rice University.
“With literally a click of a button you have access to a class that you wouldn’t have access to.”
By massive, she means tens of thousands of students enrolled in a single class.
Supporters see MOOCs as a way to expand access to higher education, even if a small percentage of students actually finish.
“These are clearly technology developments that our faculty want to experiment with, explore and really come to understand how these technologies would innovate our on campus teaching.”
Other institutions involved with MOOCs include the University of Texas at Austin, Harvard and MIT.
The classes are free. Students who complete one of Rice’s class can receive a certificate for a fee – but not credit toward a degree.
Like other universities experimenting with this type of online class, Rice is still working out legal part — who owns the intellectual property rights.