Colgate University engages alumni with targeted online "fusion" courses

January 14, 2015

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on how Colgate University in New York State is using free online courses to improve engagement with its alumni. The institution offers special courses that are available only to alumni or others who have made a special request. The courses are “add-ons” to in-person courses offered to Colgate students and allow Colgate to test out online offerings on a relatively safe audience. The alumni are able to interact with current students through online discussion forums, Twitter re-enactments, and videoconference calls. Professor Karen Harpp, who teaches “The Advent of the Atomic Bomb,” says that the alumni provide “a wide perspective from different ages and from different disciplines” that can help current students get a stronger grip on the course material. The courses are offered free to alumni, but Colgate accepts donations, offering what may be a new, indirect approach to fundraising, while promoting lifelong learning. The Chronicle of Higher Education