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Celebrating Online Learning and a Tradition of Transforming Education

Sep 15, 2016, 09:37 AM by Karen Bollinger

Online Learning Day GraphicSeptember 15 is National Online Learning Day and we have a lot to celebrate. At Illinois, we understand that today’s learners want and need options for their education and we are leading the way in innovative higher education delivery modalities. With 75+ online degree and certificate programs, 800 online courses, 70 MOOCs existing or in production, and 2 Million+ MOOC enrollments, online learners are connecting and thriving with Illinois all across the globe. From high school students pursuing online math programs, to residential students taking an online course to improve their time to degree, to working professionals who want or need certifications, to career changers pursuing a fully online degree, to lifelong learners with personal curiosity who just want to explore a new subject area … Illinois Online reaches far beyond the halls of the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Illinois is leading the way in the online space, but has also paved the way having built some of the platforms that shaped the internet and web-based learning that makes online learning possible. 

  • In the 1960s, pioneers at the University built PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations), the first computer-assisted instruction system. 
  • In the 1990s, Illinois faculty and staff also developed two of the first web-based education platforms, Mallard and CyberProf, followed by Scholar, a digital learning environment.
  • In 1996, the award-winning LEEP program began, long before online education became the mainstay it is today.
  • In 2013, Illinois launched the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, which is responsible for the analysis, development, design, delivery and evaluation of online learning at Illinois.
  • Illinois now offers more than 800 online courses and 500 online courses in the summer term.
  • Winter term began with eight online courses in 2014 and the number has tripled for the winter 2016 term. Many winter courses meet gen ed requirements.
  • Illinois is recognized as a leader in massive open online courses (MOOCs.) Through each Illinois MOOC, we reach anywhere from 10,000 to 165,000 learners across 200 countries.
  • The online Digital Marketing Specialization is the number one MOOC Specialization on the Coursera platform. 
  • New iMBA launched Spring 2016—the first stackable, for-credit online graduate business degree offered in partnership with Coursera.  
  • In Fall 2016, Computer Science launched the MCS-DS, Master of Science in Computer Science in Data Science – a MOOC-based degree offered in partnership with Coursera
  • In 2016, Illinois announced the Information Accessibility Design and Policy (IADP) Professional Certificate. Illinois is the first and only university in the country to offer college credit for a comprehensive program aimed at improving digital accessibility.
  • The newest program to the Illinois Online portfolio is the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) launching in Spring 2017

Today, on behalf of CITL, please join us in celebrating Illinois Online students, MOOC learners, professors, instructional designers, and researchers across the globe.

Illinois Online – A World-Class Education Wherever You Are. 

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