Initiatives: Online Learning

Since its inception, the Kirwan Center has been supporting USM institutions in making strategic forays into online learning. “Online learning” in this context is defined as any learning environment that makes substantive use of a web-based component that enables collaboration and access to content beyond the classroom. Online learning strategies across the USM range from fully online degree/certificate programs, to MOOCs, to hybrid and "flipped" courses.

As part of this work, the Kirwan Center has launched a system-wide online learning strategic planning process to assist USM institutions in developing goals and approaches to online education and tapping new market segments. Additionally, in 2016, USM entered into a groundbreaking partnership with edX, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT to increase global access to high-quality education. The agreement is designed to further increase access, affordability, and quality of higher education in Maryland and around the world. The partnership has launched USMx, free online courses offered by the University System of Maryland through the edX platform, and MicroMasters® Programs, free, non-credit master’s level courses, which can accelerate the pathway to an advanced degree and save students thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.

    In addition to UMUC, which offers over 90 fully online programs, the USM now has 44 degree programs offered entirely online.

    Our Work in Online Learning

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    July 16, 2018

    The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has launched a MicroMasters® program in MBA Core Curriculum on online learning platform edX.org.  The series of seven courses is the first MicroMasters program on the edX platform to offer transferable credits to a full MBA degree.

    February 28, 2017

    The University System of Maryland (USM) is partnering with edX, the free online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, to offer four new MicroMasters® Programs. These programs consist of free, non-credit master's-level courses, which can accelerate the pathway to an advanced degree and save students thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.

    The non-degree programs in Bioinformatics, Cloud Computing, Instructional Design and Technology, and Software Testing and Verification will be offered by national online education leader University of Maryland University College (UMUC), a USM member institution.

    September 20, 2016

    The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) launched the first free online course under the University System of Maryland's online learning partnership with edX, a nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to increase global access to high-quality education. The first offering, "Global Health - The Lessons of Ebola," is a free global health course that explores opportunities and challenges to advancing health in developing countries.  Using the open access edX platform, the six-week course launched on September 20, 2016 and will explore how multidisciplinary teams can work more effectively together to address global health needs.

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