Jazz Appreciation

Jazz Appreciation

Jeff Hellmer / Butler School of Music
CIG: Adapting the Jazz Appreciation MOOC to the University Classroom

Jeff Hellmer

Butler School of Music
Jazz Appreciation is one of the most popular UT Fine Arts courses, as everyone who has languished on the waitlist knows. In 2014, the whole world got a chance to experience the course when UT.8.01x, Jazz Appreciation, was offered as one of UT Austin’s first Massive Open Online Courses. Traditional lectures were transformed into short video segments interwoven with photos, graphics, key vocabulary and—most importantly—musical excerpts and performances. Students moved through the material at their own pace and clarified their thinking on vibrant discussion boards. Their understanding was assessed using an innovative adaptive-learning tool, Cerego, that presented students with information precisely when they needed to see it and gave them credit for practice and knowledge accumulated over time.
This Curriculum Innovation project leverages the tools and resources developed for the MOOC to enrich the original on-campus Jazz Appreciation course. Prior to each class, students visit Canvas to watch the video segments that present the information they need to know. This “flipped class” model frees up class time for more musical examples, discussions, and teamwork that enables deeper understanding and application of students’ knowledge. In addition to traditional writing assignments, students receive credit for practicing their knowledge using the Cerego sets originally developed for the MOOC. On campus and online, Jazz Appreciation continues to pioneer the use of technology to enhance students’ learning and appreciation for a great American art form.

Course Information

Course Title 
MUS 307 Jazz Appreciation
Student Per Class 
Class Type 


Syllabus (File)