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Semester Online Goes International in For-Credit Course Program

A company that works with colleges and universities to place their courses online and grant credit to students from other institutions has added its first international offerings. Semester Online will be working with schools in Ireland and Australia to place two humanities courses into its catalog.

In spring 2014 Trinity College Dublin will offer "Ireland in Rebellion, 1798-1916," led by Associate Professor of History Patrick Geoghegan. The course will explore how rebellions between 1798 and 1916 transformed Ireland from being a part of the British Empire to a country on the brink of independence.

During that same term, the University of Melbourne will offer "Classical Mythology," taught by Professor Parshia Lee-Stecum.

"Participating in this innovative initiative will expand the influence of our institution beyond its physical borders while providing our students with a unique learning experience through our Semester Online partner schools," said Pip Pattison, academic deputy vice-chancellor at U Melbourne.

Added Patrick Prendergast, provost of Trinity College Dublin, "Trinity is anxious to explore the potential of online education, in partnership with Semester Online, delivering high-quality outcomes through an innovative learning model."

Semester Online has pulled together a number of institutions that are working with the company to provide courses that can be taken for credit by students from any school. Instructors use lecture, group projects, threaded discussions, reading assignments, and other components in their courses.

The company recently introduced a "bidirectional learning tool," a feature of its instructional platform, which was developed by 2U, that encourages student engagement by delivering pre-recorded video conversations with experts or top students and then calls on the online student to provide direct input by text, video, or multiple-choice questions.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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