Center City’s Curtis Institute of Music, called the most selective college in the country, is breaking into the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and that world is welcoming it with open arms.
So far, 24,000 people from 84 countries have signed up for the Curtis’s two courses hosted through Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based open online course platform, according to a tweet from an event on digital media and the arts last night. In contrast, 166 students that currently attend Curtis.
Curtis, which is not paying or receiving any money to hold the courses, said it hopes the courses will build community around classical music and encourage more people to attend a concert at the conservatory.
“These two courses are really meant to be shared within the public and in the community,” [chair of Performance Studies David] Ludwig said. “We’re dipping our toes in the water and we want to see what we can do with this.”
What’s most interesting in that statement is that, for the Curtis Institute, MOOCs are marketing. No one at Curtis has ever taught these two courses before: “Beethoven” and “A History of Western Music Through Performance” were invented for Coursera. Curtis turned to MOOCs to popularize the name of, and spread goodwill for, the Curtis Institute — and that’s marketing. [more]
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