This engineering class at Stanford University is also being recorded as an online course. The university is offering 30 to 40 free courses online, and more than 1.5 million students have enrolled. There are regular schedules, homework and tests but those enrolled do not earn credit toward a university degree. John Mitchell, the Vice Provost for Online Learning at Stanford, says the university offers these course as a public service.
“We’re teachers. This is what we love to do. If we can see people around the world learning from us, that’s rewarding. That’s what gets us up in the morning,” Mitchell said.
These free courses are also meant to entice students to apply to Stanford or enroll in other online classes that are not free. While online education is expanding the reach of major universities, Mitchell says they will not replace the on-campus experience.
But David Stavens, who taught at Stanford and recently co-founded a free online university called Udacity, says a quality education is becoming too expensive for most people.
“It’s a good system for a lot of people but there is another set of people who are equally smart, equally determined, equally hard working but who don’t quite fit into the mold, and it’s an unfair system for them,” Stavens said.
While Udacity is a for-profit company, the vast majority of its courses are free and they are developed specifically for online students. They include short videos, followed by exercises designed to engage the student and reinforce the lesson.
1.enroll vt. 登记；使加入；把...记入名册；使入伍
The school will enroll new students in August.
2.reinforce vt. 加强，加固；强化；补充
This old bridge should be reinforced immediately.