VU part of consortium to provide online courses

Vanderbilt University is partnering with nine other colleges and universities to offer selected undergraduate courses online for credit in a program to be called Semester Online.

The consortium — which includes  Brandeis University, Duke University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Rochester, Wake Forest University and Washington University (St. Louis) — is the nation's first of its kind.

Semester Online courses will be offered through a virtual classroom environment and interactive platform developed by 2U, which previously was known as 2tor. The platform includes live class sessions connecting students and professors, and a social network that allows students to connect and build relationships with peers online.

“We are especially impressed with the strength of the partnership,” Richard McCarty, Vanderbilt provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, is quoted as saying in a article by Melanie Moran (read more here). “2U has taken the lead in drawing together great colleges and universities and we look forward to being an active member of the consortium.”

Online teaching has become a hot area in recent years. Fast Company earlier this year ran a wide-ranging piece on sector leader Coursera.