La Trobe University is offering free courses through Apple’s new tool iTunes-U and its first semester offerings include the history, literature, art and architecture of ancient Greece dating to the end of the 5th Century B.C. and has already drawn 45,500 subscribers and counting.
La Trobe’s iTunes-U has a total of six first-semester courses, which has attracted a total of 100,000 subscribers and 2.3 million downloads of lectures and educational material. Following the success of the launch, the university is now planning to capitalize on its popular podcasts and considering whether to offer a certificate of recognition on the completion of its courses.
The Melbourne university’s Greek history subject is the fifth most popular course on iTunes-U, and soon La Trobe’s School of Mediterranean Studies will submit a second-semester course on ancient Rome. The head of Historical and European studies, Christopher Mackie, said he’s been astounded by the success of the podcasts and lecture materials that include his own lectures on Homer’s Iliad.
La Trobe University is the first Australian tertiary institution to get on board with the online course tool, taking its place alongside American institutions including Yale, Stanford and the University of California. The Australian university’s iTunes courses are still free now, but discussions are underway on the possibility of charging for the online classes.
(Source: Neos Kosmos)