Stanford Creates New Office Designed To ‘Fundamentally Reshape Education’

Stanford University, the hotbed of education innovation, has just announced the creation of a new department and Vice Provost dedicated to online learning. It’s crystal clear that online learning is the future of education at this point … and Stanford is not messing around.

The school officially created the ‘Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning‘ today and appointed computer science professor John Mitchell as the head.

Over the past 20 years, Stanford has only created two other Vice Provost offices (one for undergraduate and another for graduated education) which both “fundamentally reshaped education at Stanford.” That’s according to Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin who spoke to TechCrunch.

With the creation of this new office comes a new dedication to online learning in general. Stanford will be offering 15 online courses this fall quarter (more coming to the winter and spring quarters as well).

Here’s the skinny direct from Stanford admins on the new office and the future of online learning at Stanford:

“Our primary mission is to teach Stanford students,” Provost John Etchemendy said, “but it is also the university’s mission to disseminate knowledge widely, through textbooks, scholarly publications and so forth. Technology provides ways to both improve our existing classes and to extend our reach. By using technology creatively, we can tap the tremendous teaching talent we have on campus to offer new learning opportunities to millions of people, both in the United States and around the world.”

“This is a very exciting time to be in education,” Mitchell said. “While technology provides many new possibilities, the fundamental question is how to improve teaching and learning with these tools. With Stanford’s tradition of innovation and academic excellence, we have the perfect environment for trying many new approaches across campus. Many faculty are enthusiastic about showing off their courses to the world, but our deepest interest is in improving the educational experience for our students. In the process, we can use technology to expand our student base and provide exciting learning opportunities worldwide.”