Princeton’s initiative in online education enables faculty to enrich their teaching while sharing free course content with students around the world. Housed in the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, this initiative explores how interactive online learning environments and tools can be used by faculty in a variety of ways to enhance the experience of residential education for students.
Since 2012, this initiative has moved from the production of open online courses (MOOCs) toward combining online learning environments with on-campus classes. Highlights of recent experiments have included collaborative learning in groups, on campus, and open online environments. In response to the Strategic Review of Online Education authored by the Faculty Council on Teaching and Learning, we are pursuing projects that promise to expand access and retention in the University’s STEM courses and ease the transition from high school to the demands of the curriculum at a liberal arts research university. Online teaching has also encouraged faculty to look beyond the content of their courses to consider student perspectives and engagement and has thereby advanced engaged learning on campus and beyond.
As Princeton faculty experiment with online teaching, we are gathering evidence that combining an online learning environment with an active classroom enlivens a course and intensifies learning. Recent experiments in flipping classes have also revealed new teaching challenges, including introducing a new perspective on learning to your students. We offer several tip-sheets on flipping your class based on four key lessons learned from recent faculty projects.
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. When considering online teaching projects, faculty may look to McGraw for advisement on proposals for teaching projects that incorporate online learning, and the policies related to the production and delivery of online course material.
Princeton Online is the home for the open courses offered through the University's online initiative. More than one million students have enrolled in the many free noncredit courses (or MOOCs) that Princeton faculty have offered through the University’s partnerships with Coursera, edX, NovoEd, and Kadenze.
Faculty interested in developing an online course or experimenting with these innovative teaching environments should begin the process by consulting Rebecca Graves-Bayazitoglu, 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.