NYU open-courseware project may free up profs for personalized instruction

August 11, 2010

In an ambitious experiment, New York University wants to explore ways to redesign the roles of professors in larger undergraduate classes, using technology to allow more time for personal instruction. This fall, the institution will begin publishing free online videos for every lecture in as many as 10 courses. NYU plans to created souped-up versions of the material for its students only, with these video courses containing live links to sources mentioned by professors, as well as pop-up definitions and interactive quizzes. NYU's dean of social sciences, who is leading the project, says that with one fewer course to teach, professors can now take on the role of "faculty curators," meeting with students in person and online, requiring them to attend events such as departmental seminars, and involving the best ones in their own research. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)