Grinnell Courses Go Digital
High school students at a select group of 32 schools across the United States and in four other countries will be able to take some Grinnell College courses for credit online, thanks to a new partnership between Grinnell College and Global Online Academy (GOA).
A nonprofit partnership of leading independent schools, GOA is designed to bring the intellectually rigorous programs and excellent teaching of its member schools online.
“We are very pleased to announce this innovative new partnership,” says College President Raynard S. Kington. “Global Online Academy offers online courses that are consistent with what we emphasize and value here at Grinnell: small classes, close attention from talented faculty members, and small-group discussions. This new partnership will give Grinnell exposure to the world of online education in an environment that allows our faculty to interact with very talented high school students.”
Grinnell’s involvement in Global Online Academy will be supported by a gift from Clint Korver ’89 and Miriam Rivera, of Atherton, Calif. Korver, who chairs Grinnell’s Board of Trustees, says he made the gift to help Grinnell explore innovative new teaching strategies, including new uses of technology to enhance the liberal arts curriculum.
GOA classes are deliberately small (enrollment is capped at 18), and students are graded and evaluated as they would be in a traditional classroom setting. Because students come from time zones all over the world, the classes do not have set meeting times; rather, the professor creates the class materials and assigns student work throughout the week. Students collaborate on work with their classmates, often using Skype or similar platforms. They work together on projects, discussions, and in other collaborative ways.
Those who enroll in Grinnell’s GOA classes will receive course credits at their own high schools, as well as course credits that will apply if they enroll at Grinnell. Grinnell’s immediate plan is to offer one course — Advanced Statistics, taught by Shonda Kuiper, associate professor of mathematics and statistics — beginning in fall 2013.
“This is an exciting and important new opportunity for GOA students,” says Michael Nachbar, director at Global Online Academy. “Allowing our students to participate in college courses — particularly at an academically rigorous liberal arts college like Grinnell — will allow our students to explore subjects that are academically interesting and challenging while supplementing their coursework and preparing for college.”