‘Leading Voices’ Speaker is Pioneer in Online Education


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Co-founder of Coursera and Stanford University Professor Daphne Koller is the next speaker in Dartmouth’s “Leading Voices in Higher Education” series.

Daphne Koller helped found Coursera, which has enrolled more than 3 million students in 329 courses. (Photo courtesy of Daphne Koller)

“We are witnessing a profound shift in higher education, where technology is radically transforming our ability to increase access to education as well as the quality of the educational experience,” says Koller. “This transformation is being led by the world’s best universities, both within and outside the United States. I am looking forward to my visit to Dartmouth, where I hope to hear from the university’s faculty, students, and administrators how Dartmouth might want to engage with this exciting trajectory.”

Koller’s talk, “The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone,” will begin at 6 p.m. on April 1 in Moore Hall’s Filene Auditorium. The Rajeev Motwani Professor in Computer Science, Koller is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and has spoken at the TED conferences.

“I am very keen to hear Professor Koller on April 1,” says Thomas Luxon, the Cheheyl Professor and the director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. “She has a very big ambition: to provide to the world the best educational content for free.”

Coursera partners with universities to make classes available online, free of charge, for a wider audience. Working with 62 universities, Coursera has enrolled more than 3 million students in 329 courses, known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The “Leading Voices” series started in 2011. The first season, “Leading Voices in Politics and Policy,” brought national political figures, presidential candidates, and policymakers to campus. Last summer’s “Leading Voices in U.S. Foreign Policy” included a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a former Defense Department official, and a retired Navy admiral. The ongoing “Leading Voices in Higher Education,” part of the strategic planning process, has featured visits from prominent writers, university presidents, and figures in higher education.

Here is a list of the upcoming Leading Voices speakers:

  • April 3: Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, speaking on “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All: Getting to a Place of Equal Opportunity,” at 4 p.m. in the Cook Auditorium of the Tuck School of Business.
  • April 9: Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, speaking on “‘How Do [They] Even Do That?’: How Today’s Technology Is Shaping Tomorrow’s Students,” at 4:30 p.m. in the Rockefeller Center Room 003.
  • April 25: Andrew Delbanco, (the William Jewett Tucker Lecturer for 2013), the  Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and director of American Studies at Columbia University, speaking on “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be,” at 4:30 p.m. in Moore Hall’s Filene Auditorium.
  • May 7: Richard DeMillo, distinguished professor of computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the director of the Center for 21st Century Universities, speaking on “Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities,” at 4:30 p.m. in the Rockefeller Center Room 003.
Keith Chapman