FAQ for Faculty

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois MOOCs-Frequently Asked Questions

February 7, 2013

Common Questions

Is Coursera the only MOOC provider and platform with whom the Urbana campus is working?

At present, yes, Coursera is the only MOOC provider and platform with whom the Urbana campus is working. Other partnerships may be possible in the future. More information about Coursera.

I want to teach a Coursera course. How do I go about making that happen?

A competitive campus RFP process has been developed to prioritize the development of Illinois MOOCs. Effective January 1, 2013, all new Illinois MOOCs will be prioritized and selected using a three-phase evaluation process. This call for proposals will be issued periodically (at least annually).

Do FERPA regulations apply to participants in our Coursera courses?

The University does not consider participants in our Coursera courses to be students of the University of Illinois and thus FERPA regulations do not apply.

Does the University compensate faculty for their involvement in Coursera?

Yes, faculty will be compensated for their involvement in Coursera. The details on how this will happen are still under discussion.

What resources are available to help with the development of a Coursera course?

The Office of Online & Continuing Education (OCE) will assist you with the development of your Coursera course. The University also has a growing community of instructors, and production staff with experience designing and delivering MOOCs via Coursera who are willing to share their knowledge.

Does the University retain ownership of the content in a Coursera course?

The content in our MOOCs is governed by the same rules of ownership as apply to our on-campus or traditional online courses, i.e., unless otherwise agreed to by the instructor, intellectual property rights to any course content created by the instructor independently and at the instructor’s initiative, rest with the instructor. Where the course support provided by the University is over and above the University resources usually and customarily provided, as will likely be the case with most MOOCs, course content created by the instructor shall be owned by the instructor and licensed to the University. See “The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure,” Article III, particularly Section 4(b) at http://www.bot.uillinois.edu/general-rules.

Does educational fair use apply to content in MOOCs?

Yes. However, the criteria for using the fair use doctrine of copyright law are much more restrictive in the context of offering online education to the general public via a non-accredited, for-profit provider such as Coursera. The University and Coursera are working with textbook publishers and other rights holders to use third party copyrighted works in a MOOC.

The Office of Online & Continuing Education (OCE) will perform copyright clearance based upon information you provide about your course materials. The OCE will first perform a fair use analysis. OCE will then work with you to determine if it is preferable to seek copyright permission or find alternative material not requiring copyright permission.

Do MOOCs need to meet accessibility requirements and, if so, who will help with that?

Yes. All information technology, including MOOCs, is required to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Office of Online & Continuing Education (OCE) and Coursera will assist you in ensuring your materials are accessible. The University provides more information about accessibility here.

What do I need to know about export control and third party licensing?

Please be aware additional FAQs are being developed to provide guidance with respect to meeting requirements in the event that there are any export control issues or any third party license issues (e.g. software or web services) relating to a given Coursera course. As soon as additional information is available, these FAQs will be revised accordingly.


For information/questions about developing and offering a MOOC, see Guide to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at Illinois