Calling all software buffs

UAlberta launches new course specialization in software design and architecture

Katie Willis - 18 September 2017

Just in time for back to school, the Faculty of Science is launching a new specialization in software design and architecture.

Designed for software aficionados, continuing education students, or professionals looking to develop their skills, this online, four-course specialization teaches students the ins and outs of object-oriented design, design patterns, software architecture, and service-oriented architecture. The specialization is offered through Coursera, the world's largest open online education provider.

Universal education

"The courses are designed with employers in mind, with the intent of creating well-rounded and industry-ready graduates," explained Ken Wong, associate professor in computing science and instructor of record on the new specialization.

But what really makes these courses special, he explains, is that they're available to anyone in the world, any time, and anywhere.

"Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, make university accessible," said Wong. "Higher education can be very expensive, and these courses bring world-class university-level content to those who may not have had access before."

Digital learning is increasingly in demand. But it comes with challenges we don't necessarily face in the traditional classroom.

"It's not a few dozen or a couple hundred students," said Wong. "There are thousands, even tens of thousands, of students in our online classrooms at any time with a MOOC."

Powerful collaboration

"One of the most valuable parts of MOOCs is the community that develops around them," explained Wong. "Students ask questions and other students answer. The answers don't all come from the instructors. Diverse students bring a variety of perspectives and backgrounds, and that adds a lot of value to what we do."

Curious about software design and architecture? The specialization, available through Coursera, launches in September 2017.