Dear Colleagues:

We are writing with an update on our campus activities with MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses. 

As you know, Illinois partnered with Coursera beginning in summer 2012 to offer MOOCs developed by our own faculty.  These courses have attracted more than 300,000 people so far, spreading the Illinois reputation for excellence around the globe.  Our MOOC activities have taught us a great deal about teaching and learning, and we continue to study the data from our course-takers.  We have used videos and online materials from our MOOCs to enhance our regular online and on-campus courses.  A second round of Illinois MOOCs is in the production pipeline and will start rolling out in January. 

To help our campus chart a course forward in this rapidly changing environment, last April we appointed a MOOC Strategy Advisory Committee.  This group of faculty leaders and online education experts has issued an interim report, which we want to share with all of you.  The report, now available at, discusses both policy and strategy issues.  You can also find a short news article at  The advisory committee will continue its work through the semester. 

We are also pleased to announce a new Request for Proposals for faculty who would like to teach a MOOC on the Coursera platform.  First-round proposals will be due on January 21, 2014.  The full RFP is available at, along with other resources for interested faculty.

We are hopeful that our work with MOOCs will expand our reach as a pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact.  Please visit for updates and more information.


Phyllis M. Wise



Ilesanmi Adesida

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

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