News Details | 18-Sep-2013

NTU to launch free online courses on Coursera

Courses helmed by NTU’s top faculty such as Prof Vijay Sethi, named the Best Business Professor of the Year by the Economist
At Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the general elective for undergraduates Introduction to Forensic Science is a popular course that can accommodate 1,600 students each time yet is always over-subscribed. Now NTU is repackaging this as a free online course for anyone in the world.
Soon you may sniff out clues and make your own expert deductions like the forensic investigators in the popular TV programme CSI (Crime Scene Investigation), even if you are not officially enrolled at NTU.
NTU is partnering Coursera, a leading Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform which has tie-ups with more than 60 universities around the world to offer free online courses.
The new Introduction to Forensic Science course offers a peek into the science behind the tools used by investigators to analyse crime scene evidence. Through this course, you will understand the inner workings of forensic science and how it applies to crime detection and law, all from the comfort of a home computer.
Other courses which NTU is lining up for the initial launch next year on Coursera include Beauty, Form and Function: An Exploration of Symmetry and another on E-commerce and Technology, which is slated for the later part of 2014.
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said the university’s move to offer free online courses on Coursera is a strategic step forward to engage a wider international audience, given NTU’s rising international reputation.
These short introductory courses are taught by NTU’s world-class faculty, which includes Professor Vijay Sethi, who was named the world’s best business professor this year by the Economist.
 “We recognise there is growing demand globally for open online courses by top universities, including those in Asia. By making some of our courses accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world, we can give a taste of the world-class education we offer here at NTU,” said Prof Andersson.
The first three courses, which are six to eight weeks long, will have various multimedia features such as video, animation, quizzes and assignments. Overseas participants will also have some insights into Singapore.
For example, in Beauty, Form and Function: An Exploration of Symmetry taught by Professor Tim White, the course participants will get to view real-life examples explained by Prof White from various outdoor locations.
The course, which is expected to launch by February next year, will have filming locations that include the Botanic Gardens, ArtScience Museum and the Fu Lu Shou complex, known for its shops specialising in various Taoist and Buddhist religious objects.
Prof White, from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, said that the course was designed to require about 3-5 hours of learning weekly and caters to people of all backgrounds.
“With MOOC, we now have the freedom to include expert videos and site visits. This also means that we can provide greater depth on specific topics that match student interests.
“Also, in my course, there will be peer-to-peer assessments, thus students can teach each other, which is a great way to learn, in addition to being able to form their own study groups through the use of social media.”
Professor Vijay Sethi named the Business Professor of the Year by the Economist Intelligence Unit will be launching his course on E-commerce and Technology next year. The Introduction to Forensic Science, due to be rolled out in May 2014,  will be taught by Associate Professor Roderick Bates from NTU’s School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences.

Also, world-renowned geologist and Director of NTU's Earth Observatory of Singapore,  Professor Kerry Sieh, will be teaching a course on Natural Hazards, which is slated to be launched in 2015.

Similar to other online courses on Coursera, some of the NTU courses such as Beauty, Form and Function: An Exploration of Symmetry will be available with a signature track, in which the student will earn a verified certificate of completion from the university and Coursera.


Media contact:
Lester Kok
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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