As a research university, Stanford aims to build meaningful connections between faculty and students, to enage students in intellectual inquiry and empower them to take academically inspired capacities into the world beyond. In this context, VPTL’s mission is to support, invigorate, and expand the Stanford community of learning.
VPTL team members collaborate with faculty and scholars in all of Stanford’s schools, research centers and labs, and institutes such as "the d.school" (the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design)—as well as with colleagues in administrative units that serve the university’s undergraduate and graduate students, including the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs. Together we are engaged in a university-wide effort to accelerate advances in teaching and learning.
It’s our goal to reach out to every corner of campus, to seed inquiry and help spur innovation. In 2015-16, we’re hosting a collaborative series of events to exchange ideas called the Year of Learning. We also convene other regular forums, such as the Digital Learning Forum Seminar to share best practices and discuss research, and we offer programs like Faculty College and the Course Design Institute, a collaborative, immersive environment in which to design a new course or modify an existing course that is optimized for student engagement and learning. Through our Digital Learning Initiatives and the Digital Learning Seed Grant program, VPTL has helped more than 200 Stanford professors, lecturers, and researchers from all seven schools produce 460 online offerings representing 205 distinct online courses that have reached more than 2.5 million learners across the globe via Stanford Online.
Similarly, VPTL continues to collaborate on the Open edX platform developed by Harvard and MIT. The Open edX platform was designed to support large-scale public courses, but it is also well suited for smaller, on-campus courses. VPTL maintains Stanford’s instances called SUClass and Lagunita, which are just two of the digital learning environments we manage that support digital learning among Stanford students and among the world’s lifelong learners.