FutureLearn Launches First Batch Of 20 Free Courses As It Chases Coursera, Et Al.

by Natasha Lomas, for TechCrunch.com

FutureLearn, a U.K.-led MOOCs alliance, has launched its first set of free courses, nine months after announcing its intention to jump into the Massively Open Online Courses space.

FutureLearn has grown in size and scope during that pre-launch phase. It now describes itself as “U.K.-led” MOOCs provider — having added a couple of international higher education institutions (namely Trinity College Dublin and Australia’s Monash University) to a list that began as a consortium of U.K.-only institutions.

The thing is, FutureLearn is late to the MOOCs party — playing catch up with the likes ofCoursera and Udacity, to name just two of the U.S.-based pioneers in the space. So expanding its roster of course-providing institutions by casting its net overseas is one way to scale faster and start attracting a critical mass of students so it can shoot for profitability, down the line.

Full post here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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EdX’s Anant Agarwal: Education should go from bricks and mortar to bits and bytes

Interview by Padmaparna Ghosh of The Times of India (9/13/2013)

Anant Agarwal

Anant Agarwal, president, EdX, believes the blended classroom is the future – a classroom that will benefit from a rich array of online courses and the vitality ofinterpersonal communication.

EdX, a massive open online course(MOOC) platform that offers university-level courses from professors around the world was founded by MIT and Harvard University last year. It is now in talks with Indian universities on hosting and distributing courses. He talks to TOI about the role a virtual screen can play in education.

Full interview is here.

 

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Northwestern Launches First MOOC

WTTW-PBS Logo

Phil Ponce interviews Owen R. Youngman of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism about his MOOC that began today.  The MOOC, Understanding Journalism by Understanding Google, is the first by Northwestern in its partnership with Coursera.  The course is free (unless you want to go through Coursera’s signature route and receive a certificate) and has 41,000 students enrolled.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Few Surprises in NSF Report on San Jose State U. Test of Udacity Courses

By Lawrence Biemiller @ Wired Campus (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

With financing from the National Science Foundation, a San Jose State University research team has taken a close look at a high-profile experiment in which the institution offered “augmented” online courses last spring in partnership with the online-learning company Udacity. The team released its long-awaited report late Wednesday, and it contains many more tables than surprises.

In part, that’s because the university and Udacity stole much of the report’s thunder two weeks ago, when both made a big deal about how students’ grades in the online courses—dismal in the spring experiment—had improved when the same courses were offered again during the summer, this time to students who were largely better prepared.

The university’s experiment has attracted a fair amount of attention because it attempts to test whether the technology and approach that Udacity has taken for its massive open online courses—MOOCs—can be adapted to work in conventional online courses offered to a limited number of students by a traditional university.

Full post here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Masculine Open Online Courses

by Inside Higher Ed

Despite the talk about how massive open online courses, or MOOCs, will dramatically alter the landscape of higher education, the courses have in some ways taken academe back — to the days of huge gender gaps, when senior scholars overwhelmingly were men.

An unofficial count by Inside Higher Ed shows 8 of the 63 courses listed on edX’s website are taught by women, and an additional 8 are taught by mixed-gender groups. Of Coursera’s 432 courses, 121 feature at least one female instructor and 71 taught exclusively by them. Udacity lists 29 courses on its website, and while only two are taught by women, many of them were created by female course developers.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/03/more-female-professors-experiment-moocs-men-still-dominate#ixzz2ePZ0MjIk
Inside Higher Ed

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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