Research News

New MOOC will teach core Java programming

The Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning has launched Java for Android, the first massive open online course (MOOC) in Coursera’s new Android App Development Specialization.

This five-course specialization is a collaboration between Vanderbilt University and Coursera and teaches students from around the world how to apply core Java programming languages, features and software patterns in Android, which is the dominant platform for developing and deploying mobile device apps. The specialization also is intended as a “prequel” to the more advanced material presented in the existing Mobile Cloud Computing with Android Specialization, a joint effort between Vanderbilt and the University of Maryland that has taught more than 400,000 students over the past two years.

The Vanderbilt team that created the Java for Android MOOC includes three computer science professors—Julie Johnson, assistant professor of the practice of computer science; Gerald Roth, associate professor of the practice of computer science; and Douglas C. Schmidt, professor of computer science—and computer science graduate student Michael Walker. The material in the MOOC is based on popular courses taught to first- and second-year undergraduates in Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering.

“We are thrilled to launch the second generation of mobile app development MOOCs offered as part of the Vanderbilt and Coursera partnership,” said Schmidt, who taught the first MOOC that Vanderbilt offered on the Coursera platform in the spring of 2013 and has been teaching MOOCs each semester since.

“The MOOCs we’ve taught have helped us connect with talented students from around the world that we haven’t been able to collaborate with before, which is a testament to Vanderbilt’s strategic investment in digital learning,” he said.

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