To attract and engage more students in this high-impact subject area, academic institutions are turning to ready-made online content where high levels of faculty facilitation are not required. Since the onset of the pandemic, computer science courses are the #1 subject area universities are adding to their curriculum through edX Online Campus.
Learn more about the value of diversifying and scaling your academic institution’s computer science curriculum and how colleges and universities are already using Online Campus to immediately add high-quality online content in in-demand subjects like blockchain and machine learning.
Why Expand Computer Science Curricula With Online Content?
Continuous learning in computer science is crucial, but course content must be dynamic and development is resource-intensive.
The computer science skills, languages, libraries, and tools professionals use every day are constantly shifting--professionals from newcomers to industry veterans seek learning opportunities to keep pace with the state of the industry. Developing and maintaining content aligned with the latest trends and skills is resource intensive, making this subject area ripe for leveraging ready-made digital content. Through Online Campus, institutions are able to access a catalogue of routinely updated content, from single courses to full degrees, from universities like Georgia Tech, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and more.
“There is hard work involved in transitioning your course from in-person to online. The sheer number of practice problems and finger exercises that you want students to have access to so they can be practicing the things that they’re learning, you need to spend some time creating those and creating them in a learning management system so that students can access it on their own time, and the assignments can be auto-graded. That is a benefit of using existing digital materials, like the courses from edX. It decreases some of that effort," said Mark Branom, faculty at San Jose City College and edX Online Campus user.
Online education offers the unique ability to partition learning into modular units that allow students to learn in smaller chunks and explore and build customized skill sets that can increase job prospects and career mobility. Modular learning is the foundation of all learning programs available on edX, allowing learners at every stage of their academic and professional careers to quickly focus on the skills and credentials they need to be job-ready.
From IoT and automation to analytical thinking, the market for computer science skills is only growing.
Industry 4.0 is supercharging the demand for computer science and coding skills. Computational thinking alone is becoming a critical skill in almost all disciplines; coding is a great way to train students in critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving. Plus, especially in the current age of social distancing, coding is a job you can do from home.
“The technology changes so fast that even if you’re behind now, you won’t stay behind for long because everyone has to keep learning. [In my classes,] I see a lot of people who work in software who are already aware they need to stay up to date on their skills, working alongside people who didn’t major in computer science and want to transition into computer science, working along with the same people who don’t want to transition into computer science but understand the importance it can have to what their career is,” said David Joyner, PhD, executive director of online education and OMSCS for the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and instructor for several online courses and programs on edX, such as Computing in Python I: Fundamentals and Procedural Programming.
Skills in fast-growing areas like computer science are critical not just for students, but for faculty, staff, alumni, and professionals as well. For instance, in the face of downward trending economies, many governments are beginning to partner with universities to offer professional learning opportunities for citizens to quickly develop new skills to bridge a knowledge gap, make a career change, or better position themselves on the job market.
Coding and computer science fundamentals are essential in fields like information technology, cybersecurity, and fintech.
Coding and computer science skills are an integral part of many of today’s fastest growing, high-earning-potential careers.
“Coding has paved the way for the development of large systems and infrastructures and has contributed to technological advances in Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Every system requires software to run and software is developed by coders. Coding skills are relevant in all aspects of IT, from system development to system configuration/implementation and usage,” said Dr. Patrick Appiah-Kubi, associate professor for an edX MicroMasters program® in Cloud Computing and Program Director of Cloud Computing and Networking at University of Maryland Global Campus.
How San Jose City College Uses edX Computer Science Courses
San Jose City College (SJCC) partnered with edX to offer online courses from MITx and UCBerkeleyX in its introductory computer science program, intended to increase equity, diversity, and opportunity for its students, who live in and want to be a part of Silicon Valley’s booming tech industry.
Using well-regarded computer science content from these trusted institutions has allowed SJCC to offer its students access to instruction and content seen as highly credible by Silicon Valley companies. Plus, by using online courses, SJCC can not only extend access to the program to more students but give those students the flexibility to learn in an asynchronous environment.
The blended learning courses have worked like a flipped classroom. Students watch the edX lectures, complete problem sets, engage in discussion, and take assessments on their own time, and then use personalized remote sessions to get help. This allows students to proceed at their own pace--whether they progress without interruption or need more time and faculty support in some sections. And because the edX platform acts as a virtual TA, taking care of lectures, grading, and other time-intensive activities, faculty are able focus their efforts in a more effective, efficient way and ultimately serve more students
“Not having to worry about doing the grading because the system does the grading for me lets me focus on helping the students figure out how to do the assignment and making sure that students are on track. In the past, I was spending part of that time making up the exam or writing up the exercises," Branom said.
Read the full San Jose City College Online Campus case study.
Build Your Custom Catalogue With Online Content You Can Trust
Technical skills in fields such as computer science, data science, and analytics are pathways to some of the highest paying, most resilient jobs, but change so quickly that curricula must be agile enough to keep up and provide real value.
Learn more about leveraging edX Online Campus’ robust course catalog to create impactful, accessible opportunities for students to learn these subjects and more. Work with Online Campus curriculum experts to map edX courses to your institution’s content needs and digital transformation goals.