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U Michigan Prof Open Sources MOOC Teaching Materials

A professor at the University of Michigan has launched an introductory programming course that provides all of the learning materials to participants who may want to turn around and teach the subject themselves.

The course, Programming for Everybody, taught by Charles Severance (on the Coursera platform and at Dr. Chuck Online), introduces participants to Python programming and provides them with the tools to turn around and teach those concepts themselves — or simply to continue their own training in programming. All of the materials for the course are provided to students under a Creative Commons license via the Open Michigan site, including syllabus, lecture videos, software and the course textbook, Python for Informatics, authored by Severance himself.

"Teaching Programming for Everybody as a MOOC lets me interact with students in high school, college, and adults who want to come back to school and learn technology," Severance said in a prepared statement. "One of my concerns with [open] materials is that potential faculty adopters around the world often think of them as somehow 'not as good.' I want to use the MOOC to give teachers who experience the MOOC a reason to make use of the open materials in their own classes."

The course launched about two weeks ago and has since seen registrations upward of 26,000 students.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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