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Friday, March 15, 2013

UC Irvine Launches Open Chemistry

The University of California at Irvine is taking the massive open online course (MOOC) to another level with Open Chemistry. What’s different about the project is it provides students with video and other content for all the required courses a chemistry major would take, along with some electives and graduate courses, online and for free.

Students have access to 15 quarter-length undergraduate chemistry video lectures, which started with three classes of Organic Chemistry filmed by Professor James Norwick. The videos ended up on YouTube, where they have been viewed thousands of times. While UC Irvine is not offering credit through Open Chemistry, it does leave open the possibility that other institutions could use the videos to provide the laboratory experience and testing necessary for certification.

“The UCI Department of Chemistry has broken new ground by allowing students to follow a coherent and integrated pathway toward full mastery of undergraduate chemistry,” said Gary W. Matkin, dean of continuing education, distance learning, and summer session at UC Irvine, in a pressrelease. “This is the first time that students and professors can find a complete undergraduate major in a consistent and high-quality video format on a single web site.”

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