Georgia Tech Coursera Offering Educates Participants on How to Plan, Launch, and Teach Online Courses

Newswise — Online education has become overwhelmingly popular and is evolving at a rapid pace due in large part to the expansion of massively open online courses (MOOCs). To meet the increased demands on those who teach via online modalities, Dr. Fatimah Wirth, an instructional designer with Georgia Tech Professional Education, will conduct the first Coursera course focused on creating, designing, and organizing online curriculum. Open to anyone, Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application is a free, six-week course that begins Jan. 28, 2013.

In Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application, participants will learn the basics of proper planning and applications for online education. Topics include online learning pedagogy, online course design, privacy and copyright issues, online assessments, web tools and Learning Management Systems. The course format includes lecture videos, quizzes, standalone assignments, and peer assessments. Participants will build an online course as part of their final project.

Wirth earned her doctorate in Instructional Technology from Ohio University in 2005 and has been teaching online courses for the last three years. She has been instrumental in supporting all of Georgia Tech’s courses available in Coursera as a result of her instructional design experience. In 2008, she wrote a $3 million grant on behalf of Georgia Tech Professional Education to create NASA Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN) online programs and is currently using her expertise to train NASA educators. Working with NASA and other partners, the NASA ePDN program provides free, online professional learning opportunities to K-12 educators to enable them to expand their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content knowledge as well as develop best practice pedagogy

“New and different technological methodologies enable us to connect students with other students, and with faculty,” said Wirth. “As more teachers and students move to online classes as an educational option, it will become increasingly important for educators to employ high quality and accessible measures that meet the learning needs and goals of online students. The course can help instructors, teachers, educators, or anyone who trains others, improve their online offerings or introduce them to the concept and application.”

In July 2012, Georgia Tech signed an agreement with Coursera to put courses online and create new opportunities in the classroom. To date, more than 170,000 students have registered for Georgia Tech’s courses available via Coursera. The Institute plans to add more online courses across a range of disciplines to meet the growing needs of students, working professionals, and industries worldwide.

“We are empowering people to learn, and are connecting and expanding our global learning community to meet the evolving needs of students worldwide,” said Dr. Nelson Baker, dean of Georgia Tech Professional Education. “By adding courses via Coursera, we are further supporting an individual’s quest for wanting to be more competitive and competent whether that is in their studies at a university, in their place of employment, or just to be members of an educated society.”

For more information or to register for the course, visit:

About Georgia Tech Professional Education:

Georgia Tech Professional Education is an academic division of the Georgia Institute of Technology, which consistently ranks as one of the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Professional Education offers professional master's programs, short courses, and certificate programs to meet the needs of working professionals and industry partners. Programs are available worldwide through a variety of face-to-face, blended learning, and online formats. In addition to professional course offerings, the division administers K-12 outreach and English as a Second Language programs, and manages meeting and event facilities. On an annual basis, Professional Education enrolls more than 26,000 students and work with 3,500 companies. It is located at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta and at the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus. For more information, visit: