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The College of William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation are partnering to develop an online course that would examine the American Revolution.
The course will explore the struggle of Colonial America to gain independence from Great Britain, according to a news release Thursday. The effort was officially announced at Thursday’s joint meeting of the college’s Board of Visitors, Alumni Association and Foundation.
Referred to as an “exploratory venture” in the release, the course will pool College and CWF resources to create a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. Many MOOCs are available to almost unlimited student participation and some are open to all public, like those on iTunesU, and others have private enrollment.
The course being developed by the college and CWF will be free and open to the public.
“[I]t’s hard to imagine two institutions any more expert at crafting a compelling course about Virginia’s role in the struggle for American independence than W&M and CW. Our historians are at the cutting edge,” Reveley said in the news release.
Colonial Williamsburg and W&M will develop a detailed proposal for the course and seek donations for funding. W&M Professor James Whittenburg will serve as the MOOC’s lead instructor.
Whittenburg is a Pullen Professor of History and the Director of Graduate Studies who specializes in early national history and colonial America. He, along with others in the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History, received recognition recently in a U.S. News and World Report survey that ranked William & Mary’s U.S. colonial history program third in the nation.
Frances Burroughs, director of educational development at CWF, will partner with Whittenburg in the efforts to develop the MOOC.
“This initiative in partnership with the College of William & Mary is a welcome and logical extension of the Foundation’s increasing use of technology in our K through 16 educational outreach offerings and in the Revolutionary City,” CWF President Colin G. Campbell said.
No timeline for the development of the course has been announced.