Monday, May 11, 2015

Tandem classroom-online course aims to create international network of 'builders' - B. Rose Huber, Princeton

This spring semester Jennifer Widner, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, introduced an online version of her course "Making Government Work in Hard Places." Offered alongside Widner's traditional graduate-level course with 19 enrolled students, the nine-week online course reached more than 2,000 learners from around the world. Widner made the online class available through NovoEd, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, which is geared toward teambuilding and discussion. "A lively exchange among people who live in different countries enriches everyone's awareness of the challenges that arise when trying to improve government performance," Widner said. "In both classes, we were aiming to create a network of 'builders' — people who value serving citizens well. The MOOC is an especially good foundation for this kind of network."

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