Sabato announces partnership with iTunes U to host free online course

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Prof. Larry J. Sabato’s free online course about President John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and legacy is now available on iTunes U.

The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), “The Kennedy Half Century,” will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. Registration for the free course is now available through the iTunes U app on mobile devices or through the iTunes store.

This is the second major platform where the course will appear; last month, “The Kennedy Half Century” course went live on Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world’s top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses. Anyone can register for the course at

The course content of the iTunes U and Coursera versions will be similar. The iTunes U version of “The Kennedy Half Century” features optional, interactive assignments for participants, such as interviewing an older relative or friend who lived through the Kennedy assassination, along with other activities.

“Offering the course on both the popular Coursera and iTunes U platforms is designed to reach the broadest possible base of people interested in exploring President Kennedy’s life, assassination and legacy,” Prof. Sabato said.

The MOOC is one of several initiatives the U.Va. Center for Politics is unveiling this fall in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Prof. Sabato’s latest bookThe Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, will be released on Oct. 15, a week before the free course begins. Later in October, the Center will premiere a one-hour national PBS documentary on the same subject, which is being produced in partnership with Community Idea Stations. The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations recently received an Emmy Award for their previous documentary, “Out of Order,” which is about political dysfunction in Washington.


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