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Columbia’s Sachs, Racaniello to Start New Year with New MOOCs

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In January, two new MOOCs from Columbia University professors will launch on Coursera: Vincent Racaniello’s Virology: How Viruses Cause Disease, on January 9, and Jeffrey Sachs’ The Age of Sustainable Development, on January 21.

Virology: How Viruses Cause Disease is the second course Racaniello, a microbiology professor at Columbia, will teach on Coursera. His course Virology I: How Viruses Work ran from August to October 2013 and enrolled over 26,000 students from across the world. How Viruses Cause Disease will explore the interplay between viruses and their host organisms.

The Age of Sustainable Development marks the first massively open online course taught by Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economics professor, leader in sustainable development, and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Sachs’ course will provide an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, drawing on the most recent developments in the social, policy, and physical sciences.

For the last year, Columbia has offered several free online courses through Coursera on topics like circuits, macroeconomics, and education. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning has partnered with faculty on several of these courses, providing support such as video production and course design.

CCNMTL’s educational technologists worked with the instructors and their teaching assistants for both new courses, helping them administer the course and set up quizzes, discussion boards, and other features to make the course effective and engaging for students. The Center’s video team also produced several videos for Racaniello’s Virology course.