March 1, 2016

"iMOOC102: Mastering American e-Learning" Opens for Enrollment

The Massive Open Online Course Was Shortlisted for the Prestigious Reimagine Education Awards

Valeri Chukhlomin
Valeri Chukhlomin, SUNY Empire student mentor and associate professor of Business, Management and Economics, a leader of the team that developed the iMOOC.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – March 2, 2016) A new Massive Open Online Course, "iMOOC102: Mastering American e-Learning," developed by a team of SUNY Empire State College faculty and professional staff, which was among the projects shortlisted for the Reimagine Education 2015 Awards, now is open for enrollment.

The college’s iMOOC, one of several MOOCs that have been offered by the college, is a competency-based, skill-building course, which raises awareness and understanding among incoming international students about how American education systems function and can be utilized as an OPEN SUNY tool to attract and retain international online learners and to support campus-based international students.

The first run of the course, in March-May 2015, attracted 4,888 students from 141 countries, including students living on and off campus, working professionals and educators interested in learning more about e-learning in the U.S.

“Our first run was in a format somewhat similar to a traditional online course, albeit a huge one, with teaching faculty answering questions and engaging with students,” said Valeri Chukhlomin, a SUNY Empire student mentor and associate professor of Business, Management and Economics, who is a leader in developing and teaching the course.

Chukhlomin said there were more than 1,300 substantive discussion posts during the course’s first run.

“This time we redesigned the course for an on-demand model, where students come and go and interact with each other, with faculty participating on an as-needed basis,” said Chukhlomin. “This way, the course could remain on the Coursera platform, hopefully for years.”

Prior to earning international recognition, SUNY Empire’s iMOOC garnered nearly $80,000 in support from SUNY’s Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG) program in 2014 and 2015.

“Without the SUNY ITTG funds, we would not have been able to develop and launch the course,” said Chukhlomin, who also is the principal investigator for the two ITTG awards.

“Thanks to an award from the SUNY ITTG program, we also are working with SUNY campuses to adopt the course for use by campus-based faculty and their international students.”

In addition to attracting grant funding, the college’s iMOOC was among those shortlisted for the Reimagine Education 2015 Awards, the global awards for innovative higher education pedagogies enhancing learning and employability.

The awards were first established in 2014 by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a global company focusing on higher education and study abroad, in partnership with the Wharton School SEI Center of the University of Pennsylvania, to identify the most innovative approaches in higher education that enhance learning and student employability.

Some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including Harvard, several campuses of University of California, Johns Hopkins, the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania and Imperial College London, participated in the competition.

"Being shortlisted for the 2015 Reimagine Education Awards represents a great achievement, given the fierce competition our panel of distinguished international judges presided over this year," said Serena Ricci of QS Quaquarelli Symonds. "Your project was received favorably by our panel across all of our judging criteria and all recognized its outstanding potential to improve pedagogy and employability in a higher-education environment. Given this year has seen a quantum leap in the number of entries to over 500 and that the quality of entries is continually increasing, both the Wharton School and QS would like to reiterate our warmest congratulations."

In addition to Chukhlomin, the course will be taught by SUNY Empire faculty including Bidhan Chandra, Anant Deshpande, Dana Gliserman-Kopans and Michele Forte. In the first run of the course in 2015, the faculty team also included Lorette Calix and Jeannine Mercer.

Antonia Jokelova and Jane Greiner, coordinators of curriculum and instructional design, and Amy Giaculli, coordinator of student services, provide pedagogical and media support for the project, which ensures that the course meets the college’s high standards for quality and accessibility.

Videos for the course were produced by John Hughes, the college’s director of media and production resources.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 77,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918