UT Rolls Out New Approach to Massive Online Courses

Before they took their seats in front of the camera under the warm lights of a new studio, Sam Gosling reminded his co-host, James Pennebaker, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin, to run down the hall and apply his makeup.

Introduction to Psychology was about to go live online as a synchronous massive online course, or “SMOC,” a new model of instruction the university is piloting this fall.

“The territory is so new here,” Gosling, a tenured professor, said the next morning. “Are we essentially televising a class or are we trying to ...

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