Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) are a growing phenomenon in the higher education sector, opening doors to students who might not have had the means to pursue tertiary-level education. Now anyone, anywhere, can have access to the world’s greatest minds and the opportunity to study any subject at their own pace.
MOOCs can help deliver a taste of on-campus offerings to future students who aspire to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through ‘taster’ foundation courses without having to pay expensive tuition fees.
Increasingly, Australian universities are rethinking the delivery of their educational programs by making the foray into MOOCs to complement existing face-to-face courses. Though MOOCs are still in their experimental phase, they are emerging as a powerful contender for the future of higher education.
This panel discussion, moderated by freelance science journalist Rod Taylor, will be an opportunity for students, educators, lecturers and distance learners to hear local perspectives from Canberra-based academic leaders about the opportunities and challenges of MOOCs.
The panel will put MOOCs under the microscope, wading through all the hype and examining implications for STEM disciplines. Bring your questions!
Professor Brian Schmidt is a Nobel Prize winner and a Laureate Fellow at Mount Stromlo Observatory at The Australian National University (ANU). Prof Schmidt joined ANU in 1995, and was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Award for achievement in the Physical Sciences in 2000, the Australian Academy of Sciences Pawsey Medal in 2001, the Astronomical Society of India’s Vainu Bappu Medal in 2002, and an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2005. His work on the accelerating universe was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter.
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington was appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at ANU in November 2011. Her work takes her across many domains, from innovative double degree design and education business improvement, to ANU participation in the online consortium edX and the $50 million Tuckwell gift for student scholarships. Prof Hughes-Warrington has published six books and been in awarded $18 million in research grants.
Dr Paul Francis is an astronomer at ANU. He conducts research on comets, quasars, high redshift galaxies, and novel interactive teaching techniques. He grew up in London, studied at Cambridge and has worked with the Steward Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, with the University of Melbourne, and has been based at ANU since 1997.
Dr Francis and Prof Schmidt will be teaching one of the first ANU edX courses on Astrophysics in 2014.
This event is proudly brought to you by ANU and Inspiring Australia.