Students to be offered free online courses

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Beginning this May, students at Case Western Reserve University will be offered access to hundreds of new classes. What are these additional courses going to cost students? Nothing. Through a partnership with, an online class-offering platform, CWRU will be providing its students access to massive open online courses, often known as MOOCs.

To bring MOOCs to campus, CWRU is joining with 28 other institutions, including 16 from outside the United States, to partner with the online organization. Launched less than a year ago, the company has attracted 2.7 million students to courses covering subjects from calculus and human physiology to business strategy and songwriting.

MOOCs at CWRU will be developed by faculty members and can be a version of an existing course or an entirely new one. Additionally, the courses may be a traditional 14-week course or as short as four weeks, and they can be taught individually or with another faculty member.

CWRU has already seen an interest in MOOCs from the faculty. Michael Scharf and Richard Boyatzis will teach CWRU’s first MOOCs, Introduction to International Criminal Law and Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, respectively.

Michael Scharf, associate dean for Global Legal Studies at the School of Law, and Richard Boyatzis, professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, are well known on campus for their dynamic, engaging teaching style. They also stand as leading minds in their fields. This fall, for example, 11,000 human resource directors worldwide named Boyatzis one of management’s top 10 most influential thinkers. Scharf, meanwhile, is managing director of the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated non-governmental organization.