Two Stanford professors tapped for new council on online education

Professors CARL WIEMAN and DAPHNE KOLLER have been chosen to be members of a new consortium charged with developing standards and best practices for online education.

Weiman, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and in the Physics Department.
Weiman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and in the Physics Department. (Photo: Noah Berger)

Wieman, a professor of physics and of education, and Koller, a computer science professor, join 11 other education and technology research leaders in the Global Learning Council. The council is part of an initiative announced this week by Carnegie Mellon University.

“The world is experiencing an educational revolution, but there has not been sufficient effort to date to address the fundamental question: Are students using these technology platforms really learning successfully?” asked Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh in a news release. “Our goal is to create guidelines and best practices that ensure academic rigor and successful learning for students worldwide.”

Daphne Koller is a professor of computer science and a co-founder of Coursera. (Photo: Steve Fyffe/Stanford News)

The council is part of the new Simon Initiative, which will focus on where technology affects education. The goals of the project include sharing rich data; helping teachers teach; accelerating innovation and scaling through start-up companies; and improving the campus-based learning experience.

Wieman, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001, is a leader in the effort to rethink university science instruction. He is the first faculty member at Stanford to be jointly appointed in the Department of Physics and Graduate School of Education.

Koller is a co-founder of Coursera, an education technology company offering massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

BROOKE DONALD, Stanford Graduate School of Education