Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Believer: Duke’s Sally Kornbluth - George Anders, Technology Review

Of all the U.S. universities offering free online courses to the world, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is among the most active. Its professors have filled Coursera’s distance-learning platform with 30 courses, in subjects ranging from astronomy to dog emotions. Since 2013, the university has assigned one administrator exclusively to digital and online education initiatives. There’s even a collection of sunny haikus about online education on Duke’s website. “A few years ago, the question was ‘Should we be teaching online or shouldn’t we?’ says Duke provost Sally Kornbluth, a geneticist by training. “That conversation has passed. Now it’s a conversation about what kinds of innovative things we can do.” In a discussion with MIT Technology Review contributing editor George Anders, Kornbluth explained why Duke is bullish about online education—and what new opportunities lie ahead.

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