Google launches open-source Course Builder
September 12, 2012
Google has launched an open source course building web application for the growing list of K-12 and big-name universities developing online classes.
In July, Research at Google ran a large open online course, Power Searching with Google, taught by search expert, Dan Russell. The course was successful, with 155,000 registered students. Through this experiment, we learned that Google technologies can help bring education to a global audience. So we packaged up the technology we used to build Power Searching and are providing it as an open source project called Course Builder. We want to make this technology available so that others can experiment with online learning.
The barebones website is a lightweight way to bring course material online, track student engagement (with web traffic and surveys), and evaluate performance. “We want to use this launch to show that Google believes it can contribute to technology in education,” says Google’s Director of Research, Peter Norvig.
“Along with releasing the experimental open source code, we’ve provided documentation and forums for anyone to learn how to develop and deploy an online course like Power Searching. In addition, over the next two weeks we will provide educators the opportunity to connect with the Google team working on the code via Google Hangouts.”
Google is hoping that big-name universities, such as Stanford and MIT, who have started to put their courses online for free, will adopt the technology.