Coursera invests $150,000 in CU specialized MOOC track

Funds will help develop online data warehouse architecture courses, capstone


The University of Colorado is playing an important role in the development of a high-demand MOOC (massive open online course) specialization, partnering with Coursera to create a data warehouse concepts track that will provide learners value in the marketplace.

“We already had a data warehouse MOOC in the works when Coursera approached us – it took off from there,” said Deborah Keyek-Franssen, associate vice president for digital education and engagement. CU received $150,000 from Coursera to help launch the specialization.

“That $150,000 can be used for whatever costs we have to develop the MOOC, whether for faculty overload, teaching assistants, video production or additional support,” she said.

The specialization will consist of four individual MOOCS and culminates in a capstone, she said. Students pay for a validated certificate on Coursera’s signature track – for single courses, or for the entire specialization.

“That means we have a revenue source for and from MOOCs,” Keyek-Franssen said.

Michael Mannino, associate professor of information systems, and Jahangir Karimi, professor of information systems in the in the Business School at CU Denver, are facilitating the MOOC specialization and are working with Keyek-Franssen and the CU Denver media team to develop the courses. They plan to launch the MOOC mid-September with courses beginning monthly after that.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share instruction and research about data warehouses with a larger learning community,” said Mannino, author of a popular textbook Database Design, Application Development and Administration (also found here), which covers material used in four of the five MOOC courses in the specialization. “Corporate training companies charge thousands for this level of education. Thousands across the world will have access to this same level of training at a small fraction of the cost.”

The data warehouse concepts for business intelligence specialization will be a boon for students around the world who are seeking careers in the in-demand fields of data warehousing and business intelligence.

“With this specialization, learners will gain the necessary skills and knowledge in data warehouse design, data integration processing, data visualization, online analytical processing, dashboards and scorecards, corporate performance management, and hands-on experience with leading data warehouse products and business intelligence tools to investigate specific business or social problems,” Karimi said.

“It speaks to the quality of the information systems program at CU Denver and the quality of CU’s MOOCs to be chosen by Cousera to create this high-demand specialization,” Keyek-Franssen said. “More people around the globe will get to know CU through this specialization and discover a pathway to CU’s educational programs.”

The university has previously benefited from individual MOOCs – such as the popular game programming course offered by Tim “Dr. T” Chamillard, associate professor of computer science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His MOOC has seen enrollments nearing 200,000 learners.

The trust Coursera has placed in CU and its $150,000 investment in a cluster of courses is another big step toward being an international leader in MOOCs, Keyek-Franssen said. “This represents a valuable partnership for the university and the campuses.”

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