Coursera, a leading MOOC provider, has announced that it will begin offering free professional development courses for K12 teachers. Many of the courses will focus on the skills that teachers need to effectively design and teach online courses.
The courses will be provided by seven leading schools of education, including the University of California at Irvine (UC Irvine) and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, along with several other partners such as leading museums and other educational institutions.
“MOOCs will definitely become an important piece in a teacher’s professional development,” says Melissa Loble, Associate Dean of Distance Learning at UC Irvine. That’s because MOOCs are easier to fit into a busy schedule than an on-site course and they offer a broad range of topics to study, she adds.
For instance, courses involve integrating engineering into science, engaging students through cooperative learning, and putting the new Common Core standards into action.