Rushville Republican

Business

April 25, 2014

Purdue NExT online learning program launches global website, now open to individuals, businesses, industry

WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue NExT, an online interactive learning program, has launched its global website, offering 25 new classes.

Purdue NExT is an outgrowth of PurdueHUB-U, an online education initiative announced in 2012. It is based on HUBzero, a powerful computing platform developed at Purdue and combined with an emphasis on learner-centered modular course development and distribution.

The program features direct interaction between educational content and students through the use of interactive simulation tools, one of the principal characteristics distinguishing Purdue NExT from open online courses (MOOCs), said Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

“Purdue NExT uses an evolved learning platform that leverages cloud computing to provide an immersive education environment,” Sands said. “Many courses are coupled with Purdue’s supercomputing environment, supporting application simulations. Short, targeted modules allow students and professionals to construct their own educational programs to meet their specific needs. Students can ask questions and receive feedback from Purdue’s world-class faculty, and there is verifiable academic rigor in each course.”

The five-week, non-degree, non-credit courses also help professionals and businesses improve skill levels and focus on core skills vital to continued success in a specific field of study, said Ananth Iyer, faculty director of Purdue NExT.

“Purdue NExT is designed to be modular and appropriate for delivering specific capability – a modern digital textbook,” Iyer said. “It is aimed at providing Purdue faculty expertise worldwide to universities and industry who require online, interactive, applied training to employees in order to stay competitive. It also is available to individual learners looking to expand their expertise, including undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals.”

Twenty-five courses are now available, and 23 more are in production, he said. Purdue faculty have submitted more than 100 submitted proposals for courses that could be offered in the future.

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