Participants who complete a new MOOC multi-series course track offered by Duke on Coursera, called Reasoning, Data Analysis, and Writing, will be awarded a certificate through a new program called Coursera Specializations. The Duke specialization series is one of the first being offered by Coursera, consisting of courses focused on a particular subject area of expertise. This collection of courses and activities in Duke’s offering reflects Duke’s emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to online education and integrates the humanities and social sciences. To earn a Specializations Certificate for this course track, students complete a series of 3 Duke Coursera courses, consisting of:

In addition, a capstone project is required. The capstone project provides students the opportunity to apply newly learned skills in the areas of reasoning, data analysis, and writing. The critical reasoning and communication skills taught through Duke’s sequence are valuable for a wide range of jobs, for future education and for personal development.

Lynne O'Brien, Ph.D.

Lynne O’Brien, Ph.D.

Lynne O’Brien, Ph.D, Associate Vice Provost for Online and Digital Education, comments on how participating in the Specializations program is one more way Duke is experimenting with new models of online education:

“This will be a chance to learn more about student interest in taking a group of related courses, how the demographics and completion rates across the whole track are similar to or different from that of the individual courses, and what it takes to design a capstone project that requires students to integrate skills from multiple courses.”

To learn more about the Duke specialization, including topics covered in each course and details about the capstone project, see: Reasoning, Data Analysis, and Writing.

For more information on Duke’s online education initiatives, visit:

Sophia Stone, Ed.D.

Sophia works with faculty and programs to provide pedagogical and academic technology consulting, training, and project management, for campus-based and online initiatives. In this role, Sophia facilitates the effective implementation of instructional technology and innovation in online learning across academic disciplines, collaborating with campus constituents across the university. Her research interests include instructional design and development, MOOCs, online teaching and learning, faculty development, and emerging instructional technologies.

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