Peter Decherney is the Faculty Director of the Online Learning Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. He advises the Provost on Penn’s online learning strategies and policies; he works with Penn’s twelve schools to develop their online programs; and he oversees the many responsibilities of Penn’s Online Learning Initiative office.
Peter is a Professor of English and Cinema & Media Studies, with a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication. He developed a pioneering open online course (a MOOC) on the history of Hollywood, and he has taught for-credit online courses. He has received teaching awards that recognize his innovation in the classroom, his influence on national education policy, and his commitment to teaching non-traditional students. Peter’s many books include Hollywood and the Culture Elite, which examines the introduction of film into Ivy League curricula as early as the 1910s. And he has written about higher education policy and strategy for the New York Times, Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, and other publications. Peter spends his summers engaged in the opposite of online education, taking small groups of students to China, Kenya, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Puerto Rico to engage local communities in the production of participatory documentary and virtual reality films.