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In an ongoing experiment to leverage new educational technologies, the university is launching five free online classes this month. Computer science Professor John Mitchell will chair a multidisciplinary faculty committee on educational technology.
Stanford University is introducing five free online classes this month, following a successful pilot last fall that drew more than 350,000 participants around the world.
Last fall, 356,000 people from 190 countries expressed interest in one or more of the first three classes offered, and approximately 43,000 successfully completed a course. Online, students can view the interactive videos at their convenience and progress at their own pace. The committee will explore some of the complex issues around providing high-quality online education, he said. The five new classes will be powered by Coursera, a startup company founded by Stanford Engineering professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, both of whom have a track record of leading online education efforts within Stanford. More information about class materials, instructors and enrollment is available on the Coursera website. The new courses are only the latest effort by Stanford to share information and ideas with the public online. Stanford helped pioneer Apple's iTunes U service by academic institutions in 2005; as of March 3, more than 49 million Stanford programs and lectures have been downloaded. Jamie Beckett is director of communications and alumni relations at the Stanford School of Engineering. Register for live virtual meetings with Stanford faculty, industry experts, and senior researchers as they go beyond the course curriculum to address emerging topics in academia and industry.

Our free webinars and lectures are recorded and available on our StanfordOnline YouTube channel. As entrepreneurship has become the way of career today, more and more people are taking up specialized courses to develop their skills in the field.
One of the most useful entrepreneurship courses available online for free is “How to build a Startup” by Steve Blank, who has written “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “The Startup Owner’s Manual”.
Another free online course for entrepreneurs is “Startup Engineering”, a 10 week course overseen by Vijay Pande and Balaji Sriviasan of Stanford University. Gautam Kaul from University of Michigan teaches a free online course on “Introduction to Finance”, which helps entrepreneurs in evaluating the time value concept related to money. All these free courses are of great use to budding entrepreneurs, who can sharpen their business skills with their help. Two more, Game Theory and Probabilistic Graphical Models, are scheduled to launch on March 19.
Participants came from as close as Stanford's Palo Alto campus and as far away as Ghana, Peru, Russia and New Zealand. Participants view short interactive video clips that include live quizzes and instant feedback that allow them to quickly determine their understanding of the material and to work on problem areas.
Professors are experimenting with a "flipped classroom," shifting classroom time from lectures to interactive activities such as problem-solving, reviewing difficult material and working in teams.
The interactive video questions and quizzes keep them thinking about the material and help them learn more effectively.
He will chair a multidisciplinary faculty committee on educational technology that will include deans of three schools, the university provost's office and faculty or senior administrators from across campus.

Ng, an expert in machine learning, was active in the Stanford Engineering Everywhere initiative to provide free course content. In 2008, the university launched Stanford Engineering Everywhere, among the first free sites to offer complete video-based courses and materials available anywhere, anytime and on-demand. While numerous reputed colleges and universities around the world are coming up with such courses, there are some free ones available on the internet too. This 9 lesson class covers topics like identifying customers, marketing products and developing business models. The course covers the technological aspect of start-ups, including aspects like text editor, reading code, documentation, testing and debugging. It deals with subjects like selecting the name and trademark for a new business, framing agreements, choosing the type of entity and financing of a start up. At the same time, participants help each other through online discussions similar to a comment thread on a social networking site.
At the same time, professors gain instant feedback on how students respond to lectures and course materials. Koller, an expert in reasoning under uncertainty, was an early Stanford advocate of the flipped classroom model that combines video-based instruction, automated assessment and interactive in-class activities.

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