Distance Learning | News

George Washington U Examines Federal Reserve in First MOOC

During a recent symposium on the Federal Reserve System, George Washington University announced that it would offer its first massive open online course (MOOC) on the same subject. The content will be based around a series of lectures given in spring 2012 at the university by Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke as well as former Chair Paul Volcker and interviews with scholars, policymakers, critics, and current and former Federal Reserve representatives.

According to Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Lerman, the MOOC will follow a "narrative format." It will feature interviews conducted by School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor, with reporting and "intensive" interactive learning modules.

The seven-week non-credit course, free and open to the public, will use technology and services from Pearson Education, Blackboard, and In the Telling, a company that helps institutions create video. Class registration will open in summer 2014, and the class will start in fall 2014. The university said that a certificate of completion will be awarded to students who pass a final exam. Additional courses are in development, and George Washington U expects to announce those soon.

"There are very few institutions that are simultaneously so important and so little understood as the Federal Reserve," said Paul Schiff Berman, vice provost for online education and academic innovation. "This MOOC will be a significant, non-partisan contribution to public discourse on the Fed, and it will use the online medium in new and innovative ways in order to reach a broader public."

Added Lerman, the series is "closely linked" with the university's strategic goals in the area of governance and policy. "We are consistently able to provide public access to leaders in public policy and, through our scholarly research and our convening role, to deepen public understanding of the key issues underlying influential institutions of governance. The MOOC is an extension of that commitment and expands our relationship with key governmental agencies."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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