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September 10, 2013

Northwestern Law MOOC debuts

by Dan Rodriguez

Northwestern University is well known for its forward-looking approach to higher education. In the words of Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer, “We are constantly innovating and working [to] shape the evolution of higher education.”

 One area of particular interest is the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs). These are open enrollment, non-credit courses that are taught online and are structured to allow students to complete the coursework at times convenient for them. Northwestern University and Northwestern Law School have partnered with Coursera—the world’s largest provider of MOOCs—to present a course entitled “Law and the Entrepreneur.” The class, which is set to begin on October 23, 2013, will address the legal aspects of entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the critical legal and business issues entrepreneurs face as they build and launch a new venture.

The course will be taught by two of my esteemed colleagues, Esther Barron, Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Entrepreneurship Law Center in the Bluhm Legal Clinic at the Law School; and Steve Reed, Clinical Professor of Law, the Assistant Director of the Entrepreneurship Law Center and Co-Director of the JD-MBA Program at the Law School.

 “Law and the Entrepreneur” is one of three MOOCs Northwestern University has created. On September 16, Professor Owen R. Youngman of the Medill School of Journalism will begin a course entitled Understanding Media by Understanding Google, and on September 23, McCormick School of Engineering’s Professor Todd D. Murphey’s course “Everything is the Same: Modeling Engineered Systems,” will begin. So far, almost 70,000 people have registered for these courses.

 I encourage you to check out Esther and Steve’s MOOC. These, and other types of non-traditional delivery systems will undoubtedly be part of higher education in the future, and Northwestern is on the cutting edge.

 

 

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