Lipscomb to offer free massive open online courses

State grant to fund Common Core-driven effort

Lipscomb University officials announced today the LU College of Education, through the college’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation, has begun development of the university’s first free massive open online courses (MOOC).

The 10 MOOCs will prepare teachers to change their instruction by implementing Common Core state standards into their classroom curriculum. The first three MOOCs are expected to be available by September, the university said in a release.

The MOOCs will be financed through a $571,000 grant from Gov. Bill Haslam’s Innovation Fund of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which funded the development of several other MOOCs across the state in 2013. Increased development of MOOCs statewide is a part of Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to enhance Tennesseans’ access to higher education.

Lipscomb is expected to be the only university in the state offering MOOCs focused on Common Core standards and one of only two Nashville universities offering them in education topics at this time, according to the release.

While the MOOCs will be specifically designed for undergraduate teaching majors, called pre-service teachers, anyone will be able to log on and take the free courses.

“They will be offered in a nonlinear, unfacilitated format, so they can be taken at any time and at the student’s own pace,” said Julia Osteen (pictured), MOOC program director at the Ayers Institute.