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.

To advance this work, the Kirwan Center has launched USMx to help institutions  leverage the affordances of online learning to give students the flexibility to interact with content, faculty, and learning communities in the ways that best meet their needs. 

The USMx mission is to provide both access to innovative e-learning technologies as well as the resources, support, and planning necessary for strategic implementation of online learning.  This, in turn, helps our institutions achieve their mission of providing access to high quality, affordable higher education to a diverse student body both in Maryland and across the globe.

    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  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.