Video stills ©President and Fellows Harvard College
Starting September 19, alumni around the world can log onto one of the College’s most popular courses: Moral Reasoning 22, “Justice,” with Bass professor of government Michael J. Sandel. This unprecedented, distance-learning project was organized by the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). “Justice Online” offers webstreamed video of the semester-long course (24 lectures) from last year, which may be viewed at home, along with “interactive elements, including an on-line discussion blog, in-person discussion groups in cities around the world, and, we hope, some video-linked discussions among alumni participants and Harvard College students taking ‘Justice’ here in Cambridge,” Sandel notes. “If the technology works, we may be one step closer to creating a global classroom.”
For further information on the course and information about registration, visit http://post.harvard.edu/sandel. In Boston, the HAA plans to launch the first class with Sandel in person at “Justice Online: Reconnect with Harvard” on September 19 at Sanders Theatre. A second, similar event with Sandel is also planned for September 27 at the Harvard Club of New York. For further details, visit the website or call 617-495-1093.
More than 20 alumni clubs are participating, including those in Australia, Mexico, India, and Hong Kong. “It’s like taking a class together throughout the world,” says Philip Lovejoy, the HAA’s director of University alumni affairs. “It’s also an experiment, and it will be interesting to see what kind of response we get.”
Alumni in Southern California are already registering for the class, according to Cynthia Torres ’80, M.B.A. ’84, president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Southern California. “Our alumni could not be more excited about this opportunity to have distance learning,” she reports. “In addition to taking the class on line, registrants will gather three times this fall to attend sessions conducted by trained facilitators or by Harvard teaching fellows flown out from Cambridge to foster class discussions with alumni,” she explains. “It’s an exciting initiative and one we hope to see many more of. We hope other Harvard professors will be interested in broadening their educational mission to include a wider group of alumni.”