Tag Archives: MOOCs

The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

3 years ago, MOOCs were an idea. Now….
5 million: number of students signed on to MOOCs, around the world
33,000: the average number of students that sign up for a MOOC
The Dream: MOOCs Can:
• Offer Ivy League Courses at non-Ivy League prices (free), thus….
• Lifting people out of poverty
• Unlock billions of brains to solve the world’s biggest problems
And yet
1 in 4: Americans don’t even know what a MOOC is.
They are: Massive Open Online Courses.

Who Takes MOOCs:

• 37% have a B.S. degree
• 28% have a Master’s degree or profession
• 27% high school
Majority of those taking MOOCs tend to be young, male and employed, from highly developed countries.
• Over 40% of students are under 30 years old
• Less than 10% over 60
• 88 % of MOOC students are male
• 62 % are employed
• 13% are unemployed…or retired
Comparison of geographic location of students, by self identification and IP address
• U.S. 34% of MOOC students
• India: 7.28 %
• Brazil: 4.37 %
• Great Britain: 3.89%
• Canada: 3.4%
• Spain: 2.7 %
• Russia: 2.5%
• China: 2%
• Australia: 2%
• Germany: 1.7%
• Student: 17.4%
• Part time employed: 6.9%
• Full time employed: 50%
• Self employed: 12.4%
• Unemployed: 6.6%
• Retired: 6.8%
Why do students Participate in MOOCs?
• Gain knowledge to get degree: 13.2%
• Gain specific skills to do job better: 43.9%
• Gain specific skills to get a new job: 17%
• Curiosity: 50%
[Those surveyed could pick more than one answer]
Requirements for successful online learning:
• Quality of material covered in the course
• Engagement of the teacher
• Interaction among students

Accredited Online (only) Schools offer MOOCs

edX: Courses from:
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Harvard
• University of California Berkeley
Coursera: Courses from:
• California Institute of Technology,
• University of Washington,
• Stanford University,
• Princeton University,
• Duke University
• John Hopkins University, and many others.
Udacity: Partner companies include:
• Google
• Facebook
• Bank of America
Udemy Free courses from:
• Dartmouth,
• the University of Virginia
• Northwestern and others….
iTunes Free Courses
• Apple’s free app. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.

Top Universities offer MOOCs:

• Stanford Free Courses – from Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet.
• Stanford’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23,000 reportedly completing.
• UC Berkeley Free Courses. Check out Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS feeds.
• MIT Free Courses: MIT’s RSS MOOC feed, and MIT’s Open Courseware.
• Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
• Harvard Free Courses: Get a free Harvard education. No application required.
• UCLA Free Courses
• Yale Free Courses – Check out Open Yale
• Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – “No instructors, no credits, no charge”

Pros and Cons of MOOCs:

Pros: By design, MOOCs are….
Incredibly flexible
Diverse in their range of subjects
Open to anyone
And Downs:
No credit for completion
Lack of hands on learning
100,000 or more to 1, student to teacher ratio
High dropout rates of up to 90%

UK Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms

* Michael Gove

Massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, could soon be used to augment the depth and variety of the curriculum taught in British schools, said education secretary Michael Gove speaking at the BETT conference in London today.
The key to introducing new opportunities provided by developments in technology and the free, open courses now offered by universities around the world into the classroom will be to leave schools in charge of deciding how they will respond to the changes, Gove said.
“Precisely the wrong way to react to the transformative opportunities offered by educational technology would be for government to try to dictate, from the centre, every last detail of how schools should respond,” the education secretary acknowledged.
More Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms, says Gove (Wired UK).

Infographic: To MOOC, or not to MOOC

To MOOC, or not to MOOC
Source: TopCollegesOnline.org
MOOCs are hot, but is the sizzle about to fizzle?
A short history of distance learning:

  • 1890s: Correspondence Courses
  • 1920: 4 million people took correspondence courses
  • 1993: Jones International University becomes first online U. [in the world]
  • 2006: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) coined in 2008 by Canadians Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander

2012: The MOOC market explodes:

  • 5 million: number of students enrolled in Coursera. 325 courses offered.
  • $63 million: total amount of investment funding in Coursera
  • 1.6 million students in 200 countries enrolled in Udacity. 26 courses offered.
  • 370,000: first year enrollment in edX. Offers 94 courses
  • $60 million: funding amount for edX, an MIT and Harvard project

Some new MOOCs: :

  • San Francisco-based NovoEd is now offering courses directly from Stanford Business School.
  • Berlin-based iversity is offering a wide range of courses from European educational institutions.
  • Edraak, will be a MOOC portal for the Arab world
  • In China – XuetangX
  • France: Universite Numerique

Countries of origin: [where the MOOCs are coming from] :

  • U.S.: 28%
  • U.K. 11%
  • India: 4.6%
  • Brazil: 4.5%
  • Canada: 4%
  • Spain: 3.9%
  • Australia: 3.5%
  • Greece: 2.2 %
  • Russia: 1.9%
  • Germany: 1.8%

Why all the investment interest? :

  • 2 billion potential learners around the world
  • More than 70 percent of them cannot afford a college degree
  • $400 billion: amount of money spent annually in U.S. on universities
  • The $400 billion: more than the annual revenues of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter combined.
  • 10 million: number of students who have taken at least one MOOC

FACT: mooc.org: Google is teaming up with EdX, to create mooc.org — a You Tube for MOOCs. It will be open to everyone, including businesses, governments, and private individuals.
BUT: 30% of employers believe a MOOC course represents a valid completion – Even so, that’s a major achievement.
To MOOC: :

  • Most MOOCs are free or nearly free, a definite plus for the student.
  • Provides a solution to overcrowding.
  • Forces professors to improve lectures.
  • Creates a dynamic archive.
  • MOOCS are real college courses, complete with tests and grades.
  • Brings people together from all over the world.
  • Allows teachers to make the most of classroom time in blended classes. In a “flipped classroom,” teachers send students home with assignments to listen to or watch a recorded lecture

Or not to MOOC:

  • It’s not about you, it’s about Money, Money, honey
  • The motivation behind MOOCs is corporate profiteering.
  • It’s part of a cost-cutting agenda to privatize public higher education
  • MOOCs are the leading edge of the Wal-Martification of higher education.
  • MOOCs create a two-tier education system.
  • A “real” education for those who can afford to pay
  • A bargain basement education for those able to only afford online options
  • MOOCs are inferior
  • they lack interpersonal exchange
  • MOOCs are mechanistic
  • education’s core values reducing to a mechanistic information-delivery process
  • MOOCs are suffering from innovation exhaustion
  • The sizzle will fizzle
  • 93: failure rate percentage of students enrolled in MOOCs
  • 150,000 to 1. Student to teacher ratio. Is that any way to learn? Grading papers is impossible.

That is the question.
Universities (paid) fight back:
Top 10 elite schools ALSO offer MOOCs

  • Udemy: professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern
  • iTunes U: Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place.
  • Stanford:
  • FACT: 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23,000 reportedly completing.
  • UC Berkeley
  • MIT
  • Duke
  • Harvard
  • UCLA
  • Open Yale
  • Carnegie Mellon

And now there are
SPOCs: Small Private Online Courses :

  • New B-to-B concept: license online courses to a university or an organization or corporation.
  • Colorado State Global Campus, first to offer SPOCs
  • SPOCs have 17-25 students

These MOOCs Will Make You Reconsider Everything About PD


Almost every teacher knows how it feels to slog through mandatory professional development. All too often, irrelevant workshops are an inevitable fact of life in the one-size-fits-all world of teacher training.
As a former fourth-grade teacher, Julia Stiglitz has suffered through dull courses. And while she can’t cure the boredom of teachers who must endure subpar PD, she hopes to transform the voluntary side of PD through so-called massive open online courses (MOOCs).
“Sitting through PD that is not related to something you need to work on can be very frustrating,” says Stiglitz, director of business development and strategic partnerships for Coursera. “One of the best aspects of online PD is the ability for teachers to get information that is relevant to them–and from really strong organizations that know their content and how to deliver it.”
Some of those “really strong” universities include Johns Hopkins (MD) and Vanderbilt (TN), and the list is growing. With the help of these institutions, Coursera began offering its own approach to PD in May, so the curriculum is still very much in development. A course operations specialist with the company works directly with the university ed school partners to develop content.
via These MOOCs Will Make You Reconsider Everything About PD — THE Journal.

Can MOOCs Solve the STEM Problem?

* Apple on pile of books

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are being touted as the future of secondary education, and many proponents argue that the MOOC model may solve the U.S. shortage of technical workers. Skeptics, however, question the quality of the training provided by such online education courses.
In 2016, a group of students will receive master’s degrees in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology. These students will pay $7,000 for the degree – about one-sixth of the traditional cost – and may never set foot on campus. Thanks to an agreement between Georgia Tech, AT&T, and Udacity, a venture-capital funded online education start-up, students will learn virtually via a “massive open online course,” or MOOC.
Online education is not new, of course. About one-third of students today take at least one online course, but the MOOC model is different, and many believe it could revolutionize higher education, particularly for students studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
Read more: Can MOOCs Solve the STEM Problem?.

Early MOOC Takes A Different Path

Focused on “workplace skills,” Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online (ALISON) pursues a different agenda than other companies that offer massive online open courses.
With more than 1.2 million unique visitors per month and 250,000 graduates worldwide, Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online (ALISON), founded in 2007, is considered by some the first massive online open course (MOOC).
Not only is it older, ALISON’s goals are distinct from younger MOOCs such as Coursera and Udacity, which have received much more press in part because of their alliances with elite universities.
“Our focus is workplace skills,” company CEO Mike Feerick told InformationWeek in a phone interview. Indeed, ALISON started with two globally in-demand skills: English and IT literacy, the latter in the form of ABC IT, a 15- to 20-hour training suite that remains the site’s most popular course.
Read more: Early MOOC Takes A Different Path – Education – Online Learning –.

Survey finds online enrolments slow but continue to grow

Enrolment Stats *

MOOCs may have snared most of the headlines, but traditional, credit-based online learning continued to chug along just fine last year, thank you very much.
More than 6.7 million, or roughly a third, of all students enrolled in postsecondary education took an online course for credit in fall 2011, according to the 2012 iteration of the Babson Survey Research Group’s annual Survey of Online Learning. While the upturn in the number of online enrollees (9.3 percent) represented the smallest percentage increase in the 10 years that Babson has conducted this study, overall enrollment in American colleges and universities fell in 2011 for the first time in 15 years, to put the slowing of online growth in some context.
And speaking of said MOOCs — the massive open online courses that have captured the imagination of the public and turbocharged the discussion about digitally delivered instruction in many quarters — the Babson survey for the first time queried institutional officials about their views about the courses.
Given their relative newness, the answers are probably unsurprising: lots of uncertainty about whether to embrace them, and significant skepticism about whether the free open courses (at least as of the time when the survey was conducted) present a “sustainable method for offering online courses.”
via Survey finds online enrollments slow but continue to grow | Inside Higher Ed.

Democratizing Higher Education: The Rapidly Changing Face of Online Learning


Imagine a world in which the best possible quality in higher education is available to all students, even those in the most remote parts of the planet, and you enter the world of MOOCs. There certainly has been a very intense buzz lately about the efficacy and future potential of MOOCs as the new wave in higher education reform. For those that don’t already know the moniker, MOCCs are “massive open online courses” offered by and in conjunction with some of the highest ranking, most elite universities in the U.S. The rapid rise of these online courses does not diminish the importance of institutions of higher learning, but it surely has begun to shake things up.
Up until now we characterized online learning as “non-traditional” however, there is a paradigm shift happening, as the undemocratic costs of higher learning have reached the breaking point. MOOCs offer a rapidly growing alternative. The trend is overwhelmingly gaining popularity as a way to level the playing field in a world where elite universities have the monopoly on the highest quality education at equally exorbitant prices.
And this is where it gets interesting.
Read More: Democratizing Higher Education: The Rapidly Changing Face of Online Learning | Academic Exchange.

Online Learning on a Roll: Picture a Steamroller that Accelerates like a Ferrari

Sophie Naide

Sophia Naide, a 13-year-old 8th grader in Northern Virginia, is studying Computer Science 101 with her mother. Is she taking a high school course? No. Is she enrolled in a community college? George Mason University? The Virginia Tech satellite campus? No, no, no. She signed up for a free, online course with Coursera, the online teaching enterprise that recently forged an agreement with the University of Virginia along with a dozen other prestigious universities. Sophia is one of several learners interviewed by Fast Company writer Anya Kamenetz in an article about Coursera.
The article is worth reading because it sheds light on the growing competitive advantage of online classes in the higher-ed setting.  Traditionalists, reactionaries and others with a vested interest preserving in the status quo insist that nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction between teacher and student in a real-world, campus setting. But the Fast Company article makes it clear that online courses can do things that conventional classroom courses cannot.
Full Text: Online Learning on a Roll: Picture a Steamroller that Accelerates like a Ferrari | Bacon’s Rebellion.