University of South Florida


USF News

Fairy Tales and Princess Stories

USF's first Massive Open Online Course begins Aug. 5.


Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (July 19, 2013) – A free online course offered by the University of South Florida, “Fairy Tales: Origins and Evolution of Princess Stories,” affords anyone in the world the opportunity to explore online learning. As the university’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), the four-week class starts Aug. 5 and explores the meaning of fairy tales and their relationship to modern society.


“Fairy tales and princess stories hold our imagination, from bedtime stories to popular movies to Disney theme parks. In this online college course, students will explore the history of fairy tales and gain insight into the cultural, literary and psychological perspectives these stories bring to our lives,” said course creator and instructor, Kevin Yee.


Yee holds a PhD in German language and literature and is an expert on both comparative literature and German Romanticism and online learning.


The course format allows students from around the world to explore learning in a highly-interactive online environment, explained Yee, who is also director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) at USF. While there are no prerequisites, admission requirements or costs, students can expect to participate fully in an academic course of study through assigned readings, videos, interpretative analysis and class interactions via email and discussion boards. Class participation and activities are designed to take approximately two hours each week.


As USF’s first MOOC offering, the class represents a global trend in sharing academic knowledge freely through online learning. The course was developed in partnership with USF University College using the Canvas Network platform, and more programs are being developed.


The USF “Fairy Tales and Princess Stories” online course is accessible to anyone in the world through the Canvas Network. For more information, visit


“It’s exciting to be working with instructors such as professor Yee who are so passionate about a topic that they're willing to create an entire online course and offer their expertise throughout its delivery,” said University College’s Shelley Stewart, eLearning facilitator and USF’s MOOC program director.


A second free MOOC will begin Sept. 9, 2013 entitled, “Forums for a Future,” which discusses current societal issues that will impact the future of the world. Anyone at USF interested in offering a MOOC should contact Stewart (