2U Impact Report 2015

2U’s No Back Row™ Approach Is Changing Education

Engaging course content. Real-world learning. Student and faculty support. These are the foundations of 2U’s approach to education — and we’re changing the way students learn online, the way faculty deliver courses and empowering institutions to broaden their missions.

Everyone knows the back row — a place you can hide, where there is no pressure to participate, the “cheap seats.” 2U strives to bring every student, professor and institution to the front row where they can be seen, heard and fully immersed in the education experience. 2U’s goal is to create opportunities that help you reach your highest potential. Learn how we do it.

Live Classes

2U-powered programs feature an online learning environment designed to facilitate personalized, collaborative experiences for students and professors. Using webcams, students and professors attend classes live, logging in from anywhere in the world for small seminar-style discussions.

Breakout Rooms

Live Chat

Document Sharing

Faculty use tools in the online classroom to further learning and foster group discussion. All live classes are recorded and archived, so students can return to any course at any time to review previous discussions.

Engaging Coursework

The 2U team helps partner university faculty members turn their traditional classroom lectures and materials into engaging, interactive content custom made for the online environment. Self-paced coursework includes recorded lectures, video case studies, and interactive individual and group activities. 2U is always working to innovate and advance the online learning experience, and our approach to program coursework reconsiders what’s possible in education.

A New Kind of Lecture

2U courses follow an inverted format, with students watching lectures online and using classes for discussion. 2U works with professors to create guided video lectures accompanied by media content that illustrates the information.

Content Innovation

2U’s Bidirectional Learning Tool™, or BLT™, allows students to engage with content, acquire new knowledge and receive feedback from classmates and professors in real time. It was first developed when @WashULaw professors needed a way to teach online using the Socratic method. Today, across many 2U-powered programs, professors build out BLT content and follow students’ progress through the materials.

See It In Action

Video Case Studies

Video case studies are used in courses where students learn from more long-form vignettes that might play out throughout the length of an entire course. For example, students in the MSW@USC program spend two semesters reviewing “The Abby Case,” a video case study that follows the life of one client.

Watch the Video


2U is dedicated to ensuring all students have access to the online campus, coursework and in-person learning experiences.

The 2U commitment to accessibility:

Work with each university partner’s office of disability services to establish appropriate accommodations

Ensure all essential elements of the online campus — including live classes and coursework — are accessible to students with disabilities

Build learning tools with accessibility in mind

Dedicated Support

High-quality support for students and faculty is a hallmark of 2U’s service offering. We strive to make the transition from a traditional, on-campus setting to an online learning setting as seamless as possible — for both students and faculty. Our faculty support begins the moment we begin collaborating with a university, working closely with teaching professors. Support for students begins when they inquire about a program and continues throughout their program.

1. Coaching

2U works to identify potentially at-risk students to ensure they are given the support they need. This includes dedicated one-on-one outreach and coaching.

2. Career Services

2U Career Services works with university partners to support students’ careers throughout their program and after graduation.

3. Faculty Recruiting

2U works with partner universities to assist in faculty recruiting. As programs grow, it is important that our partners have the resources they need to scale along with them.

24/7 Online and Offline Access

Each 2U-powered program also offers a mobile app that allows students to access their virtual campus from a smartphone or tablet — even when they are offline.

Learn More

Real-World Learning

At 2U, we believe that online learning is enhanced by integrated, real-world learning experiences. From nursing field experiences to MBA immersions, all programs have an in-person learning component. These experiences create networking opportunities for students as well as enrich classroom learning.

2U-powered programs with immersions: MBA@UNC, MBA@Syracuse, Accounting@Syracuse, DataScience@SMU, datascience@berkeley, @WashULaw, MHA@GW, Communications@Syracus


Students across 2U-powered programs meet in domestic and international cities for learning and networking. Immersions offer students and faculty a chance to build on the relationships they have established in the online classroom.

2U-powered programs with field placements: MSW@USC, SocialWork@Simmons, MPH@GW, Nursing@Georgetown, Nursing@Simmons, Counseling@Northwestern

Field Placements

Many 2U programs require experience in the field. After all, students in nursing programs need to prove they can use their skills in the real world, and social workers must train with real clients to hone their practice. 2U and universities work together to ensure each student’s placement is appropriate to their curriculum and their career goals.

2U-powered programs with on-campus intensives: Nursing@Georgetown and Nursing@Simmons

On-Campus Intensives

Students in 2U-powered nursing programs complete intensive training sessions on campus throughout their studies.

Not convinced? Keep learning!

2U Inc