On Wednesday, Stanton Wortham was appointed Faculty Director of the Online Learning initiative, beginning September 1. The Online Learning initiative works to provide a Penn higher education to people around the world through massive open online courses. 

Wortham, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in the Graduate School of Education, has taught as Penn since 1998. He has served twice as Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education and for 10 years as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Wortham’s research applies linguistic anthropology to education and classroom discourse. His most recent project involves investigating the social identities of Mexican immigrants in American towns.

“Stanton Wortham brings an extraordinary depth of expertise to help Penn chart the future of online learning,” Provost Price said in a press release. “We particularly welcome his insights into the power of online learning to provide opportunities to new generations of students and shape their social and cultural identities.”

Penn has expanded its reach through online open learning since 2012, when it became one of the founding university partners of Coursera. More recently, Penn announced it will offer online courses through the edX platform as well. To date, Penn’s online courses have reached over two million students around the world.

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