Instruction for masses knocks down campus walls
March 5, 2012 | Source: New York Times
Welcome to the brave new world of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) — a tool for democratizing higher education.
In the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree.
The online course Building a Search Engine, is taught by two prominent computer scientists, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor and Google fellow, and David Evans, a professor on leave from the University of Virginia. More than 90,000 students have enrolled in the search-engine course and another taught by Mr. Thrun, who led the development of Google’s self-driving car.
Udemy, a startup with backing from the founders of Groupon, recently announced a new Faculty Project, in which award-winning professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia, and Northwestern offer free online courses. Its co-founder, Gagen Biyani, said the site has more than 100,000 students enrolled in its courses, including several, outside the Faculty Project, that charge fees.
Sebastian Thrun resigns from Stanford to launch Udacity
MITx free course, Circuits and Electronics, opens for enrollment
MIT to launch free online interactive learning labs in 2012
Stanford expands free online IT course offerings