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Weekly News Digest

May 13, 2013 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Coursera Announces Pilot Program With Publishers

Coursera, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider, announced a pilot program with several of the top higher education publishers to expand the availability of their high-quality content and resources, to be facilitated by Chegg, the student hub where students can access the tools and materials they need to succeed. Publishers Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, Oxford University Press, SAGE, and Wiley will experiment with specific offerings for Coursera students, including versions of etextbooks delivered via Chegg’s DRM-protected e-reader at no cost to students for the duration of the course. Coursera is also actively discussing pilot agreements and related alliances with Springer Science+Business Media and additional publishers. 

The importance of rigorously developed pedagogical resources to learning outcomes has been well-documented, and today’s announcement will link Coursera’s content to this enhanced learning process. While professors teaching Coursera’s broad course offerings have until now been able to assign high-quality content freely available on the web, they will now be able to work with top publishers to provide an even wider variety of carefully curated teaching and learning materials at no cost to the student.

The involvement of several key publishers in this announcement aligns, for the first time, their long-standing commitment to and investment in online education with Coursera’s mission, which includes working within existing frameworks to improve educational access. In addition to gaining insight into worldwide usage data, publishers will be able sell full versions of their e-textbooks to students for continued personal learning.

Coursera’s collaboration with leading publishers and Chegg, such as its collaboration with top universities, is an innovative step forward for free online education. It provides students who previously might not have had easy access to textbooks with the deeper and more comprehensive learning experience that these resources provide.

Source: Coursera

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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