Penn launches its first free online classes via Coursera — from the University of Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA — This week, the University of Pennsylvania launched three free courses via Coursera, an online educational platform designed to make Web-based classes available more widely.

With the capacity to reach millions of people simultaneously, Coursera has a design inspired by educational research on effective learning practices and creates an interactive learning experience for the course offerings.

So far, more than 50,000 people from around the world have enrolled in these three online courses, all stemming from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine:

  1. Fundamentals of Pharmacology with Emma Meagher, an attending physician in preventive cardiology at Penn Medicine and the director of Penn’s four-year pharmacology curriculum.
  2. Vaccines with Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics in the Perelman School and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has made it his life’s work to educate both the medical profession and the public on the value of vaccinations.
  3. Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act with Ezekiel Emanuel, the vice provost for global initiatives at Penn and the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy.  He is also a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor in the Perelman School and the Wharton School.