U of Southern Maine Professor Survived by Online Course

December 1, 2015

Many faculty members are concerned about the intellectual property implications of teaching online -- namely, that a college could use content a faculty member created but assign other instructors to teach the course. A case out of the University of Southern Maine, reported by the Portland Press Herald, presents an unusual twist to that story.

John P. Broida, professor of psychology, died this September from pancreatic cancer, but not before he could finish the video lectures and assignments in an online introductory psychology course taught at the university this fall. The course launched about one week before Broida's death and has continued under the direction of Michael Stevenson, one of Broida's colleagues in the department.

AnneMarie Catanzano, Broida's widow, told the Press Herald that the online course is "what kept him alive. … When he was intellectually involved, he wasn’t as sick, he wasn’t feeling the illness. At his memorial service, I hugged Michael and said, ‘You know, you kept him going.’”

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