­Rebecca SteinFrom the Office of the Provost

Rebecca Stein has been appointed Executive Director of the Online Learning Initiative, beginning June 1, 2017.

Dr. Stein is an acclaimed and innovative teacher who has taught at Penn since 1998 and currently serves as Director of the Microeconomics Principles Program in the School of Arts and Sciences.  A health economist and Senior Fellow of the Leonard David Institute of Health Economics, she teaches large sections of introductory micro-economics to almost a thousand students each year and has received multiple Penn teaching awards, including the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty and the SAS Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty.

On the Coursera open learning platform, she has developed highly popular courses on Microeconomics: The Power of Markets and Microeconomics: When Markets Fail.  She earned a PhD (1998) and MA (1993) in Economics from Northwestern University and a BA cum laude (1992) in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Penn is strongly committed to advancing new forms of teaching and learning, both online and on campus,” said Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein.  “Rebecca Stein is one of our most creative and successful teachers in both arenas, and she will be an ideal partner to help us shape the future of online learning, working closely with the Online Learning Faculty Council, the dynamic staff of the Online Learning Initiative, and the outstanding faculty members across campus who are leading our engagement with online learning.”

The Online Learning Initiative began in 2012, when Penn became one of the founding university partners in Coursera, the pioneering online learning platform.  Penn now offers more than 80 courses on Coursera – with 22 million learners around the world in disciplines that encompass all twelve Penn Schools – while expanding to include the non-profit edX platform and a wide range of other new and advanced educational programs.  The work of Penn faculty in online learning has also spurred numerous educational innovations on campus, especially through the Structured Active In-Class Learning Initiative.