In the past four months, more than 222,000 students have enrolled in eight massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health through the new education venture offering high-quality university courses online for free.
Combining that number with the enrollment in its other free and for-credit online courses makes the Bloomberg School the world's largest provider of online public health education.
"The Coursera platform allows us to reach more people than ever," says Michael J. Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School. "Sharing with the world our knowledge and research about public health is an essential part of our mission of improving health and saving lives."
MOOCs on Coursera are the latest development in the 15-year history of online public health education offered by the Bloomberg School, which added free online content with the launch of its Open CourseWare site in 2005. Students who earn a passing grade in the MOOCs—7,362 in four courses to date—receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.
"Teaching through Coursera has been a great experience," says Roger Peng, an associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics and an instructor of the Computing for Data Analysis MOOC. "I taught 54,000 students during the first session, which is by far more students than I ever could have hoped to teach in my entire career."
The Bloomberg School's next Coursera offerings, which start Jan. 23, are Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health, Health for All Through Primary Care, and Data Analysis.
In addition to MOOCs on Coursera, the Bloomberg School offers 113 for-credit online courses and publishes teaching materials from 112 courses through its OpenCourseWare site.