Tag Archives: MOOC’s


Bill Gates Discusses MOOCs at Microsoft Research’s Faculty Summit

Bill Gates says that this is the “golden era” of learning, thanks to massive open online courses and easy access to information. The chairman of Microsoft gave the keynote address on Monday at Microsoft Research’s Faculty Summit, an annual event that brings together Microsoft researchers and academics from more than 200 institutions for a two-day conference in Redmond, Wash., on current issues facing computer science.

At the summit, Mr. Gates told the audience that he sees enormous potential for…


Survey Finds Only Limited Public Awareness of MOOCs

Many people outside of higher education have never heard of massive open online courses, according to a new survey of public attitudes toward the free offerings.

While an overwhelming majority of respondents to the survey said they were familiar with online education in general, only 22 percent said they were familiar with MOOCs, and only 4 percent said they were very familiar with them.

The survey, which was based on a nationwide sample of 1,042 people interviewed online in May, determined that…


Coursera Announces Details for Selling Certificates and Verifying Identities

How is a major provider of free online courses going to tell whether you are who you say you are? By how you type.

The company, Coursera, plans to announce on Wednesday the start of a pilot project to check the identities of its students and offer “verified certificates” of completion, for a fee. A key part of that validation process will involve what Coursera officials call “keystroke biometrics”—analyzing each user’s pattern and rhythm of typing to serve as a kind of fingerprint.

The company h…


eCornell Offers a MOOC That Steers Students to a Paid Follow-Up

Cornell University’s online spinoff is moving into MOOCs, with a free marketing course in its hospitality program starting on Tuesday. But the program will be designed to steer students toward a follow-up course for $1,200 to get a professional certificate.

The free online course, “Marketing the Hospitality Brand Through New Media: Social, Mobile, and Search,” is being offered by eCornell. It’s geared toward people working in sales, marketing, and financial positions in the hospitality industr…


‘History Harvest’ Project May Spawn a New Kind of MOOC

During the New Deal of the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration hired writers to document history across the United States. The best-known effort collected oral histories of former slaves. Those interviews became the bedrock of research for decades, contributing to a reinterpretation of slavery that took place from the 1950s to the 1980s, says William G. Thomas III, a historian at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Mr. Thomas sees something similar as possible today. He and others are tr…


New Guides Aim to Become the Yelp for MOOC’s

Students looking for massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, have many options, with a growing number of providers and course titles. A handful of Web sites have popped up over the past few months to help students find courses they’re interested in, much as a restaurant-goer might turn to Yelp. Some of the sites let students review the MOOC’s they’ve taken, incorporating their views into the sites’ overall guidance.

One new directory, Course Buffet, was started two months ago by Bruce Bolton, ou…


Course-Management Companies Challenge MOOC Providers

Two software companies that sell course-management systems, Blackboard and Instructure, have entered the race to provide free online courses for the masses.

On Thursday both companies plan to announce partnerships with universities that will use their software to teach massive open online courses, or MOOC’s. The companies hope to pull in their own college clients to compete with online-education players like Udacity and Coursera.

Instructure has released a new platform called Canvas Network, whi…


San Jose State U. Says Replacing Live Lectures With Videos Increased Test Scores

In an effort to raise student performance in a difficult course, San Jose State University has turned to a “flipped classroom” format, requiring students to watch lecture videos produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and using class time for discussion. And initial data show the method is leading to higher test scores, university officials announced this week.

The class, “Engineering Electronics and Circuits,” has been “one of the most-hated courses in the college,” said David…


U. of Texas System Is Latest to Sign Up With edX for Online Courses

The University of Texas system will join Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley to offer massive open online courses through edX, university officials announced on Monday.

The system’s Board of Regents voted unanimously on Monday morning to put $5-million into the nonprofit partnership, which was formed by Harvard and MIT in May to provide free online college courses, known as MOOC’s, on a global scale. The University of Texas system will offer at least four edX courses by next fall, beginning with general-…