PDAD&C#5, 2012-13

To:  PDAD&C 
From:      Cheryl Misak, Vice-President & Provost
Date:  July 17, 2012 
Re:  Coursera 

I am pleased to announce that the University of Toronto is joining Coursera, an innovative new platform which will expand the UofT's offerings of open access online courses and learning materials. Coursera ( was developed by professors at Stanford University and it was launched earlier this year by Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. This exciting project unlocks the possibilities of open access education.

Initially, three internationally renowned departments and faculties at the UofT will offer pilot open access not-for-credit courses through Coursera. The courses include video lectures with interactive quizzes, interactive assignments and collaborative online forums (

• Learn to Program: The Fundamentals; Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code; and, Neural Networks for Machine Learning will be offered through our Computer Science Department in the Faculty of Arts and Science;
• The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness will be offered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work; and,
• Aboriginal World Views in Education will be offered through the OISE UT

These five pilot courses are part of Open UToronto, The University will use its experience with the Coursera education platform to design further improvements to its online and open access offerings.

In addition to UofT, other universities joining Coursera today are the California Institute of Technology, Duke University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the University of Edinburgh, Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, the University of California San Francisco, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington. According to Coursera, their platform to date has seen 680,000 students from 190 countries and more than 1.55 million course enrolments across its 43 courses.