Stanford Partnering Up with Piazza to Add Social Layer to iTunes U Course

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a brand new version of iTunes U with new iPad and iPhone apps as well as tools that allow teachers to include assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi with their iTunes U courses. In addition, it was also reported that iTunes U had passed 600 million downloads last year.

Now, Stanford has announced that it will partner with Piazza a social learning platform with one of the most popular iTunes U courses — Professor Paul Hegarty’s iPad and iPhone App Development [iTunes Link]. This course follows the iOS 5 course from the Fall 2011 semester, which is currently available via iTunes U. Stanford is currently taking those lectures and using Piazza to improve the experience for users taking the class across the same 10 week period.

The new social media aspect of the course builds on a technology many students already use: Piazza, a social learning platform. Stanford students taking the classroom version of Paul Hegarty’s programming course, on which the online course is based, have used Piazza.

Earlier versions of the 10-week apps course have proved enormously popular, with individual lecture videos downloaded more than 10 million times.

The inclusion of Piazza will enhance the learning experience, said Brent Izutsu, Stanford’s program manager for iTunes U. “There is an enormous potential for collaboration and community-building though Q&A and problem-solving with friends from across the globe,” he said.

Those enrolled in the iTunes U class are expected to answer questions as well as ask them, while the course captains facilitate discussions and drive students toward correct answers.

The course is available for free and will run from June 25th to August 16th. Registration is free and closes on July 6.

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Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.