Four new MOOCs offered for spring 2015

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Joe Schwartz
Ed Baptist and Louis Hyman
Barbara Friedman
Professors Ed Baptist, left, and Louis Hyman record a segment for their MOOC “American Capitalism: A History.” The online course runs currently, and it will be repeated next spring on edX.

Cornell will offer four new massive open online courses – commonly known as MOOCs – for the upcoming spring 2015 semester. Students from all over the world can survey global hospitality management, tour the technology inside your smartphone, fix ecologically broken places and explore eating from an ethical perspective.

Cornell MOOCs are free to anyone with Internet access, and Cornell offers certificates for successful completion. For information and to register, go to: edX.

The hospitality and tourism industry generated nearly $7 trillion around the world last year. Introduction to Global Hospitality Management defines hospitality and explores this complex industry through strategic management and planning; real estate and asset management; e-commerce and marketing; and human resources management. The MOOC, starting Feb. 4, 2015, will be taught by four School of Hotel Administration professors: Bruce Tracey, Cathy Enz, Jan deRoos and Bill Carroll.

With smartphones ubiquitous, learn how this technology holds your life together with The Computing Technology Inside Your Smartphone, taught by David Albonesi, professor of electrical and computer engineering. The course, starting March 10, 2015, covers computing technology, application software, advanced performance and smartphone processors.

Revitalize neighborhoods and examine the people, places and practices that restore nature with Civic Ecology: Reclaiming Broken Places, taught by Marianne Krasny, professor of natural resources. This MOOC covers contemporary ideas on defining social-ecological systems and the relationship of nature to human and community well being. Starting April 10, 2015.

Contemplating concepts like sustenance grown nearby and global dietary choices, The Ethics of Eating explores the ethical decision-making made every day as people figure out what to eat. Andrew Chignell, associate professor of philosophy, and William Starr, assistant professor of philosophy, teach this MOOC starting April 15, 2015. (Course registration is not available yet.)

Laura Brown, senior vice provost for undergraduate education, explained that the four selected courses – from 15 submissions – are distinctive Cornell courses specifically tailored to online learning. They were selected by a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate’s Distance Learning Committee, with input from the Academic Technology Center and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Last spring, Cornell MOOCs educated more than 55,000 people worldwide. Two courses from last year will be repeated in the spring 2015 semester:

  • Networks, taught by Éva Tardos, professor of computer science; David Easley, professor of information science; and Jon Kleinberg, professor in computing and information science. To grasp how the modern world connects us all, students will explore game theory, Internet structure, social contagion, the spread of social power and popularity, and information cascades.
  • American Capitalism: A History,” taught by Ed Baptist, associate professor of history, and Louis Hyman, assistant professor in the ILR School. The course will cover how the United States has gone from a backwater colony to a global power, revealing enduring lessons about what is possible in capitalism’s ongoing development. (This course is currently offered on edX for fall 2014.)

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Blaine Friedlander