Holy Cross Online Learning

Continue your journey as a lifelong learner from the comfort of your home or office.  Alumni, parents and friends of the College are invited to connect with some of Holy Cross' finest faculty members and participate in noncredit courses that aim to satisfy their thirst for intellectual curiosity.

Holy Cross Online Learning is a web-based endeavor creating opportunities for enhanced engagement with off-campus communities and serving as a venue for faculty to test innovative instructional methods to benefit our students on campus.  This venture provides another avenue for the College to innovate and learn about the art and science of teaching.  Insights gained from this online experience will enhance today's classroom on Mount St. James. 


Watch (or Re-Watch!) Archived Lectures

The Irish American Experience (2017) and Shakespeare: Time Lord (2018) are available for your viewing pleasure - check out those archived courses at your leisure. In each course, you have full access to the recorded video lectures, the supplemental video "extras," and all recommended readings. Expand your continuing education horizon!

REGISTER TODAY to get started.   

Questions?
Contact Tom Cadigan '02, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, at tcadigan@holycross.edu or 508-793-2483.
 

Coming Fall 2020

Climate Change: 
An Interdisciplinary Approach to a Global Issue

photo of earthClimate change is a global challenge that affects our lives, those of our children, and vulnerable populations around the world.  In a multiweek, web-based series beginning in Fall 2020, Holy Cross Online Learning teams up with current Holy Cross faculty members to offer a self-paced, multidisciplinary exploration of this urgent moral, political, and economic challenge.  What do recent scientific findings say about climate change?  What does the Catholic Church (as well as other religious traditions) teach about our responsibility for creation?  What are the economic and political implications of climate change?  What can we, as individuals and as a society, do to respond to this challenge?  As we begin a new decade, join us for this important, timely conversation.

More information will be shared later this summer.
  

Fall 2019

Falling Out of Time: World Premiere Access 

October 24 – November 30, 2019

(The live session of this course has concluded; due to copyright constraints, archived materials are not available)

Falling out of time - the silkroad ensableAll alumni, parents and friends are invited to join us online for a 3-week, behind the scenes immersion into the creative process of bringing art to life.  At the center of the experience will be exclusive, web-based access to the world premiere of composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, a song cycle based on the genre-defying book by Israeli writer David Grossman.  Along the way, participants will connect with Golijov, the College’s Loyola Professor of Music; Silkroad Ensemble, the Grammy-winning collective of global artists for whom the song cycle was written; and Holy Cross faculty and administrators.  

Part play, part poem, part fable, Falling Out of Time narrates a journey “out of time” as parents grieve the loss of their son and seek to make their way back to life.  Experience how this moving story of loss and love is transformed from literature into music.  Join us for this extraordinary venture!      

This web-based opportunity is a collaboration between Arts Transcending Borders at the College of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross Online Learning and Silkroad. 

 

 

Schedule

  • “Pre-Week” (released October 17)
    Orientation & Overview of Experience
    Review the edX website, watch a “welcome” video about this online journey and interact virtually with participants from across the globe.
  • Week 1 (released October 24)
    Conversation Around the Central Themes of Falling Out of Time
    Join us for a remarkable conversation with Bob Cording and Frank Vellaccio.  Tragically, both Bob and Frank lost children of their own; and, with David Grossman's book in hand, they take us on a powerful, moving journey of their losses, of their own distinctive forms of grief, and of the love that has sustained them. 
    • Co-Facilitators:  Leah Hager Cohen, Barrett Professor in Creative Writing; Mark Freeman, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society
    • Featuring:  Robert Cording, English Professor Emeritus; Frank Vellaccio, Senior Vice President Emeritus
       
  • Week 2 (October 31; live-stream available at 7:30 p.m. ET)
    Falling Out of Time – World Premiere
    Experience exclusive access to the world premiere of composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, a song cycle performed on the Holy Cross campus by Silkroad Ensemble.  If you are unable to watch this performance “live,” a recorded version will be accessible through November.
  • Week 3 (released November 7)
    Talkback with Osvaldo Golijov & Silkroad Ensemble
    Join us for behind-the-scenes access to the composer and the artists and experience the process that went into transforming David Grossman’s book into music.  What is the nature of originality?  How does the work of others inform one’s own?  By exploring these questions and others, you will be led on an exciting tour of how creative work comes into being. 

Spring 2019

Alumni & Friends Community Book Discussion: Frankenstein

April 15 – May 19, 2019

(The live session of this course has concluded; archived materials are not available)

Faculty Participants

  • Robert Bellin, Professor, Biology
  • Ellen Perry, Professor, Classics
  • Mary Doyle Roche `90, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Facilitator

  • Debra Gettelman, Associate Professor, English

frankensteinJoin us for a lively, self-paced deep dive into Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. Assigned as the summer reading for the current first-year Class of 2022, Holy Cross students have been discussing this novel throughout the academic year – now is your chance to join in the conversation!  Over the course of five weeks, Holy Cross faculty members will lead us in an online discussion that highlights the literary, ethical and scientific implications of this book and its overarching meaning for us today. All alumni, parents and friends are encouraged to read the book, and then engage in self-paced weekly videos featuring our faculty moderators, and participate in online discussion board threads. This promises to be a great opportunity to learn from fellow members of the Holy Cross community!

 

About the Book

Frankenstein (The 1818 Text, Penguin Classics edition)

Considered to be one of the world’s first works of science fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is far from our current image of what a horror story is and from the movies inspired by the novel.  The horror depicted in this book comes from within and reveals the atrocities that people that commit while acting with good intentions, as well as our shared desire for a sense of belonging.  The themes of Frankenstein are as relevant today as they were 200 years ago when the novel was first published. 

 

Fall 2018

Shakespeare:Time Lord

Helen Whall, English Professor Emerita
Beginning October 15, 2018

(The live session of this course has concluded, however, participants can still register and access all archived material)

Fall online learningHelen Whall, English Professor Emerita, will lead us in a 6-week online course that examines William Shakespeare and the many ways he uses time throughout his plays.

Shakespeare is a "Time Lord," but unlike Dr. Who, he needs no TARDIS, DeLorean or other time machine.  The playwright survives time by using time.  Throughout this course, we will look at five classic plays and study how Shakespeare masters a series of artistic devices that control the pace of a play and actually makes his audience experience the phenomenon of time. By examining Romeo and Juliet; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Part I, Henry IV; Hamlet; and King Lear, Professor Whall will introduce (or re-introduce) you to the playwright and his genius. 

 

 

Spring 2018

Alumni & Friends Book Discussion: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

March 12-April 15, 2018

(The live session of this course has concluded; archived materials are not available)

Faculty Participants

  • Mary Doyle Roche `90, Associate Professor, Religious Studies
  • Ann Sheehy, Associate Professor, Biology
  • Michael R. West, Associate Professor, History

Facilitator

  • Amit Taneja, Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer

Join us for a lively, self-paced deep dive into the critically-acclaimed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Over the course of five weeks, Holy Cross faculty members will lead us in an online discussion that highlights the historic, ethical and scientific implications of this book and its overarching meaning for us today. All alumni, parents and friends of the College are encouraged to read the book, and then engage in self-paced weekly videos featuring our faculty moderators, and participate in online discussion board threads. This promises to be a great opportunity to learn from fellow members of the Holy Cross community!

About the Book

Rebecca Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor tobacco farmer, whose cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951. Known by scientists as “HeLa” cells, they became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown. Skloot examines the collision between ethics, race, and medicine in this New York Times bestseller, which is also an HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. 

Through collaboration with Holy Cross Libraries, we have created a resource webpage with more information about the book and its author, as well as some compelling videos too.

Registration, Discussion Schedule and FAQs

Fall 2017

The Irish American Experience

Edward T. O'Donnell, Associate Professor, History
Beginning October 16, 2017 

(The live session of this course has concluded, however, participants can still register and access all archived material)

Edward T. O'Donnell '86, associate professor of history, will lead us in a 6-week online course beginning October 16, 2017 that will examine the historical experience of the Irish, one of the largest ethnic groups in America. The Irish in America have left an indelible mark on the nation’s economy, politics, and culture, while at the same time they have been shaped by their adoptive country.  Among the topics addressed: colonial era immigration, the Famine, changes in ethnic identity, class conflict and the labor movement, the Catholic Church, machine politics and political affiliations, culture and the arts, nationalism and the fight for Irish freedom, upward mobility and the quest for respectability, and relations with other ethnic and racial groups.