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Cornell Expands Online Learning through New Portal

Cornell University has created Cornell Online, a new Web portal that brings together the university's various online course offerings.

The university ventured into online learning more than two decades ago with the School of Continuing Education, its now defunct Office for Distance Learning and Cornell Information Technologies, among others. Meanwhile, the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions has offered credit and non-credit distance learning options for more than 20 years. And Cornell recently launched several free MOOCs (massive open online courses) through edX and other platforms. Now students can browse, search and access all of these diverse course offerings through a single site.

Cornell Online was developed by the Cornell Online Learning Community (COLC), a group of people who have been working for the past year to advance online learning initiatives at the university. According to a news report on Cornell's site, the COLC includes representatives from the Academic Technologies division of Cornell Information Technologies, the ILR School, the School of Hotel Administration, eCornell, the Center for Teaching Excellence and staff and faculty members who are either teaching online courses or engaged in online learning.

Michael Kotlikoff, provost of Cornell, said that students now expect e-learning and academic technologies and that the university should work to "lower the energy barriers" for faculty members who want to create online courses, according to a report on Cornell's site. "Academic Technologies (working with the Center for Teaching Excellence), eCornell and some colleges employ instructional designers who can help translate a teacher's goals into online formats," stated the report.

Cornell Online offers a variety of free and paid certificate programs, continuing education units (CEUs), credit courses and degrees in a wide variety of fields.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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