Online Teaching and Learning

Princeton’s initiative in online education enables faculty to create online content for Princeton courses and to integrate online and face-to-face teaching to foster more engaged learning. The online component might consist of short videos, quizzes, assignments, or galleries that enable students to prepare for and continue in­-class learning activities. A faculty member might also decide to “flip” the traditional lecture/homework model by providing a video lecture to students before the class, opening up class time for more active learning.

Through Princeton Online  the McGraw Center also partners with faculty to develop Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These courses allow faculty to create a public good that increases access to higher education, expanding the scope and impact of their teaching to a global audience. Some MOOCs are simultaneously taught to Princeton students and global learners, making it possible for the instructor to bring global perspectives into the Princeton classroom. An example of this is Jeremy Adelman’s Global History Lab. Data from MOOCs can offer researchers valuable material for the study of teaching and learning. For global or distance learners, a MOOC can provide opportunities for professional development or lifelong learning. Many of our learners are alumni/ae who see an online course as one way to stay connected to their alma mater.

Since 2012, when Princeton University launched its first fully online course, the McGraw Center has supported the development of over 30 MOOCs, and  more than 2.5 million learners have enrolled in our courses.  Princeton’s MOOCs are free and fully open, and they do not grant credit or other forms of credentials.

Supporting all of this work is the McGraw Center’s online learning group, comprised of experts who work closely with faculty on the entire process of developing materials for teaching online, from design and production to the delivery of material through online course environments. McGraw also collaborates with faculty to develop strategies for related classroom activities. The Center serves as the University’s liaison with the online platform providers (Coursera, edX and Kadenze). Faculty may look to McGraw for advise on proposals for teaching projects that incorporate online learning, and the policies related to the production and delivery of online course material.

Faculty interested in developing an online course or experimenting with these innovative teaching environments should begin the process by consulting Katherine Stanton, Interim Director of the McGraw Center, or Mona Fixdal, Associate Director for Online Education. Following these conversations, we welcome your formal proposal for an online teaching project.