Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 3, 2013

WVU launching free online classes

Students can do as much or little work as they like in one-week courses

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — There’s no homework, no tuition and no tests. No credit, either. But now anyone with access to the web can become a college student.

In February, West Virginia University is launching a series of free online courses taught by professors. The experiment follows a national trend, and the courses are open to anyone anywhere.

The only requirements are an Internet connection and an eagerness to learn something new.

The Charleston Daily Mail said the one-week courses start Mondays with “Learning to Cope with our Robot Overloads.” The first batch focus on technology and social media, which communications professor Nick Bowman said are logical topics for online learners.

The Feb. 11 class will focus on online relationships. It’s called “Love at First Like.”

A class on cyberbullying follows Feb. 18, and the month wraps up with a course called “Understanding and Conquering Technology Overload” on Feb. 25.

Bowman said the online courses allow students to do as much or as little work as they like.

After registering for his class, students have access to a website that offers other material. Bowman has uploaded some lectures to YouTube and posted PowerPoint presentations and links to more information on his page.

Access to higher education can be limited by distance and finances, Bowman said. The online courses break down those barriers. They might also encourage more people to consider saving up for and eventually enrolling in college.

He expects international students to participate but hopes West Virginians will also log on.

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