Coursera, the massive-open-online-course provider, announced on Wednesday that it was expanding into teacher education.
The company said it would offer MOOCs taught by instructors in graduate programs at the Universities of California at Irvine, Virginia, and Washington; at the Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt Universities; and at some nonaffiliated organizations that train teachers.
The move marked a shift for the year-old company, which previously had focused on the traditional university curriculum. The new offerings will include practical courses—sample title, “Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching: Three Key Ideas and High Leverage Techniques,” from the nonprofit Match Education—as well as more-theoretical material, such as a course unit on early-childhood development from the University of Virginia.
Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera, said the company saw the move as a way to improve elementary and secondary education. “Higher education is obviously very important,” she said, “but for many countries, the problem starts a lot sooner.”
Ms. Koller said she hoped some school districts would allow teachers to use Coursera’s courses to satisfy professional-development requirements