Newswise — People of all ages and backgrounds across the world are one click away from experiencing a free education from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. That’s because the University recently launched two open, online courses on iTunes to allow individuals to explore the interdisciplinary teaching styles of some of its professors.
“These open, online courses are a tremendous opportunity for universities, like USciences, to draw attention to our high-quality curriculum and outstanding faculty,” said Mark H. Nestor, PhD, associate provost and chief information officer of academic affairs. “This type of forum also allows us to project our brand globally."
Available through a free app in the iTunes Store, iTunes U provides access to thousands of courses prepared by instructors worldwide, including the USciences courses which cover the topics of AIDS and the history of time. These courses are openly available to the public and are made up of several modules, or “lectures.” While enrollment for these online courses is not required, an iTunes account is needed to access them.
Although the concept of the AIDS course was initially developed by Kevin Murphy, PhD, chair of the Department of Humanities; it was further enhanced by including a total of 33 lectures from an interdisciplinary team of USciences faculty. Michelle Ramirez, PhD, MPH, associate professor of anthropology; Samuel Talcott, PhD, assistant professor of philosophy; and Margaret A. Reinhart, director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program, each contributed lectures to this well-rounded course.
“By providing lectures from the medical science, anthropologic, and philosophic perspectives, participants of this course will be able to gather four different and pertinent angles to this international problem,” said Dr. Murphy. “Our course covers topics ranging from the cellular and medical dimensions of AIDS to the gender and ethical elements of the disease.”
Similarly, the second USciences course offered on iTunes aims to introduce students to the complex, mysterious, and often elusive nature of time. Spearheaded by history professor, Roy Robson, PhD, students who participate in this course will have the opportunity explore time through a multidisciplinary, historical, and multicultural approach covering diverse fields such as physics, medicine, psychology, sociology, religion, art, and philosophy.
“Although this free service provides self-paced courses without assessment or acknowledgement of completion, it has the potential to encourage students to continue their educations at USciences,” said Dr. Murphy.
Andrew Esposito, instructional designer in the Office of Academic Technology at USciences, developed and produced these courses on iTunes. To access USciences’ free courses via iTunes U, click here.