Knight Center for Journalism Launches MOOC

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin launched its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Oct. 28. Enrollment in the course exceeded expectations so quickly that the center had to cap enrollment because of concerns about server capacity.

More than 2,000 people from 109 countries registered for the six-week course, which introduces participants to infographics and data visualization and is taught by University of Miami professor Alberto Cairo. Cairo, who has taught several online courses for the Knight Center’s distance learning platform, is approaching the course in a slightly different manner than most other MOOCs.

Instead of adapting one of his University of Miami classes to the new medium, Cairo has developed an original syllabus and is using his Twitter account to complement class discussions. He also is excerpting chapters from his book The Functional Art to use in the course.

When the class was first proposed the Knight Center assumed that it would primarily appeal to journalists and news designers. However, the course has attracted students from disciplines as varied as epidemiology and business administration. Enrollment for the second edition of the course opens Jan. 12 with priority being given to the 1,000 people who registered for the current installment but were unable to participate.

Follow Alex Wukman on Twitter @AlexWukmanCMN

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