For those still trying to piece together all the different definitions and scenarios of a MOOC (massive open online courses), this PBS Newshour segment presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of this phenomenon.
From the financial angle, MOOC startups are still trying to figure out how to make money. Udacity is getting revenue from several companies like Google to provide specialized courses. Coursera is charging potential employers for providing names of high-scoring students.
Sebastian Thrun of Udacity, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng of Coursera, students, and other professors who question the wisdom of these classes weigh in.
Student Tracy Lippincott’s perspective on teacher-student connection:
“The thing that I really miss is actually personal contact with the professor. I like to be able to get personalized advice from the person who’s in charge, and maybe just a little of like a thumbs-up, you know, just a little bit of positive reinforcement.”
Sebastian Thrun on his view of lecturing:
“It’s not my lecturing that changes the student, but it’s the student exercise. So our courses feel very much like video games, where you’re being bombarded with exercise after exercise after Continue reading →
Not too far in the future, students may be faced with an entirely different set of choices than they do today. No longer might college or career straight after high school graduation be the two only and divergent paths in front of them. No longer may a four-to-six-year commitment to a highly esteemed institution be the fastest way to a fruitful career or a rich network.
Sebastian Thrun, whose free, online artificial intelligence class for Stanford last year enrolled more than 175,000 people and launched the MOOC movement, foresees a radically different future for students. Thrun, who founded Google X, the incubator for projects like the Google self-driving car and Google Glass, co-founded Udacity, a free online school that offers higher ed classes computer science classes — everything from Programming Languages to How to Build a Startup.
“Right now you go to college for four, six, seven years, and it’s a big commitment over a long period of time,” Thrun said in an interview earlier this week, which will be shown in an upcoming PBS Newshour story. “But in the future, learning will be lifelong, and it will happen in very small chunks. If you have an interest, a problem, if you need a skill, you’ll go find it and learn it. Things like Continue reading →