The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Wednesday it's joining the MOOC movement, piloting four courses to the masses via the web that anyone in the world with a computer can take for free.
UW-Madison was among 29 universities in several countries that announced new partnerships with the online learning company Coursera, a platform for massive open online courses called MOOCs.
Private funding supports MOOCs; no state funding is involved in the free courses. As part of the partnership, Coursera promises the courses will continue to be free and will be delivered without advertising.
The courses don't offer college credit, though that possibility is being explored by established accrediting groups.