Fun Is Just A Snap Away

Have you ever regretted not taking more “just for fun” classes during your time at MSU? Peter Glendinning, a longtime professor from the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, wants to give lifelong learners of all ages a chance to take another class: Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR.

The course has five different lessons that walk learners through the basics of the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography, whether they are photographing with a smartphone or a professional-grade camera.

a shadow on a man taking a photo

Glendinning is co-teaching with veteran photo instructor Mark Sullivan, who is also an associate professor in MSU’s College of Music. Together their course is offered through Coursera, an online service that offers thousands of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Students from all across the world can register for the online course for free, or pay a small fee in order to earn a certificate of specialization from MSU.

In just two weeks, Glendinning’s class enrolled over 15,000 students from places like Russia, Mexico, India,Greece, Kenya and the United States. “That’s more than I may have taught in my almost 40 years at MSU,” he said.

Glendinning and Sullivan are just a few of the MSU professors collaborating with Coursera to bring the benefit of an MSU education to the world. They hope that Spartans of all ages will continue to exercise their curiosity and creativity, even if they’ve ventured far away from the university’s ivy covered halls.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have all MSU alumni sign up for a photo course for free,” Glendinning said. “And to get reconnected to their alma mater in a way that is going to improve their ability to make photographs of the places, people and things that matter most to them?”

To sign up for the course visit

Originally published in the Summer 2016 MSU Alumni Magazine