First ColgateX open online course begins

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One of Colgate’s best-known professors will reach more than 3,000 people from more than 100 countries in the university’s first public, open, online course, Greeks at War: Homer at Troy, beginning Monday.

Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the classics will teach the university-quality course on the ColgateX platform.

Garland has recorded 126 hours of content for the Great Courses series, including Greece and Rome: an Integrated History of the Mediterranean (2007), The Other Side of History (2012), and Living History (to be released on May 22). In 2012, he presented the first online–only course for Udemy, Ancient Greek Religion, in which more than 9,500 students have so far enrolled. Read more about that here.

“I got started with Udemy because it is free to the public, as is the ColgateX course, and because it was an opportunity to bring a subject I find fascinating to a wider public,” Garland said.

Greeks at War: Homer at Troy will cover not only the causes, contentions, and historical significance of the Trojan War through the eyes of Homer, but also connections to the men and women serving their country today and innocent civilians caught up in the crossfire. For part of the course content, Garland interviewed students who are veterans of the U.S. military.

Register and/or learn more here.

Garland thinks about three things when he records an online course: how to reach the widest possible audience without selling the subject short, how to take a general approach to the subject while also concisely conveying original content, and how to present his field of expertise in a way that makes it relevant to people unfamiliar with the ancient world.

Colgate is exploring the use of edX, the online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT, in partnership with Hamilton College, with additional collaboration with Davidson College and Wellesley College.

A second ColgateX course, Medicating for Mental Health: Understanding the Benefits and Limitations of Psychiatric Drugs, will be taught by Scott Kraly, Charles A. Dana Professor of psychology and neuroscience, and is expected to launch this August.

These two new public courses build on Colgate’s prior online offerings for students, parents, alumni, and friends: Living Writers Online, taught by Jennifer Brice, associate professor of English and Jane Pinchin, Thomas A. Bartlett Professor of English; and The Advent of the Atomic Bomb, taught by Karen Harpp, associate professor of geology and peace and conflict studies.