This year 45,000 people signed up for TSU’s free online courses on the world education platform Coursera. The single greatest interest of the audience was the English language online course on biological diversity, whose author is Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, a scientist from Italy, Associate Professor in Ecology and Biological Diversity at Tomsk State University, and member of the TSU Centre of Excellence BioClimLand.
Last year, TSU became one of the partner universities of Coursera. In 2015 it launched six online courses, including one in English: The Changing Arctic by Terry Callaghan, Professor at TSU and the University of Sheffield, an expert on this region with 47 years’ experience.
This year TSU added another 11 courses in psychology, social robotics, biology, SMM-marketing, and entrepreneurship.
- Our team has analyzed what topics are popular on Coursera: computer, humanities and life sciences, and business courses, - says Olesya Babanskaya, the head of the Scientific and Methodical Department of the Institute of Distance Education and manager of TSU’s educational online projects. – The new courses we have produced are in accordance with these trends.
IDE staff say that the most popular of TSU’s courses on Coursera was Biological Diversity (Theories, Measures, and Data Sampling Techniques). During the 7 months since its launch, more than 3,000 people from 143 countries have signed onto it, including students from the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Kenya, India, Australia, and other countries. This course has received 98% positive feedback from listeners.
- Biodiversity as a separate discipline has been studied for only about 20 years, and my course is the first on the subject that is freely available, - says Roberto Cazzolla Gatti. - Biodiversity is one of the components of the environment, and I believe that this knowledge is important no matter in what area you work - science, policy, or management. This course provides an overview of the theories of evolution from Darwin to the present day and the dynamics of biodiversity.
In just two years, more than 56,000 people from over 150 countries became students in TSU’s online courses on Coursera.