CalArts Partners with Coursera for Free Arts-Based Online Classes

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CalArts Partners with Coursera for Free Arts-Based Online Classes

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) joins the revolution in on-line education through its partnership with leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform Coursera. An acclaimed Los Angeles-area institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual and performing arts, CalArts now makes a selection of its world-class educators and curriculum available to students everywhere. As the first institute of the arts to partner with Coursera, CalArts will pioneer strategies for offering the highest quality arts education within the context of MOOCs.

"It is our goal at Coursera to offer our students a rich variety of academic opportunities," said Coursera Co-Founder, Andrew Ng. "As an institution focused solely on the arts, CalArts provides a unique roster of rigorous arts-based courses that are now accessible to students globally."

Three CalArts' classes will launch in Fall 2013: Introduction to Programming for Digital Artists, taught by Ajay Kapur, Ph.D, Director: Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence and Design (MTIID) at CalArts; Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works, led by Dean of CalArts Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Stephan Koplowitz; and Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers, with CalArts' Provost and Faculty in the School of Art Jeannene Przyblyski, Ph.D.

"We view this partnership with Coursera as a unique opportunity for research in leveraging new technology and the power of social media in the service of creative pedagogy. How might the arts flourish in the age of algorithms? We're aiming to find out," noted Ms. Przyblyski.

Register for classes at Coursera.org. Students who successfully complete CalArts' Coursera offerings will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor. Coursera classes are open to all students and free of charge.

CalArts is among the newly announced group of Coursera partners-29 universities from around the world, including Northwestern University in the U.S., Leiden University in the Netherlands and Switzerland's University of Geneva-that have agreed to offer courses online and available to anyone, for free. With this new roster of partners, CalArts will join Princeton, Stanford and Columbia University, along with 30 other institutions, currently offering courses on Coursera.

"We are deeply gratified to be the first arts institution included in Coursera's selection of top universities," said CalArts President Steven Lavine. "As an internationally renowned school of the visual and performing arts, developing the creativity of individual students is a key to the CalArts education-and Coursera, the premiere innovator in its field, is the ideal partner for extending our reach to students around the globe. Creativity is a key to success in today's world and we can now offer students far beyond our campus the ability to hone and develop their own creative problem-framing and problem-solving skills."

Since Coursera launched in April 2012, the company has registered a total of almost 2.8 million users, and is seeing approximately 1.45 million course enrollments per month. Additionally, Coursera has recently begun offering students opportunities to receive credit and recognition for their work, whether through Signature Track, which offers verified certificates and shareable course records, or through Credit Recommendations from the American Council of Education (ACE), which offer the potential for students to receive transfer credit to college degree programs for select courses.

Coursera is on a mission to change the world by educating millions of people by offering classes from top universities and professors online for free. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students from around the world a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history and computer science, among others. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates.

CalArts is ranked America's number one college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. With its six related schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater, CalArts is unique in its multidisciplinary approach to studying the arts and is one of the first schools in the country to offer World Music for performance. CalArts encourages students to recognize and explore the complexity of the aesthetic, social and political aspects of the arts. It is supported by its distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its BFA, MFA and DMA students with both the hands-on training and the engagement with the cultural community necessary for artists' growth. CalArts was founded in 1961-and opened in 1969-as the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. specifically for students interested in pursuing degrees in the visual and performing arts.

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