Pages Navigation Menu

MOOC News Roundup: Lazy Summer Edition

Welcome. Here’s your roundup of MOOC News for July 14, 2013

Lazy summer

Alex Polezhaev via Flickr

It’s a little slow in these hot summer weeks, but there are a few items of interest for people looking for MOOCs to sign up for.

Of course, there’s the usual inside baseball news, like new investments in Coursera last week, but this roundup focuses more on what students and teachers need to know. Coursera is hinting at some interesting development to come — an “open” developers ecosystem, more mobile, more classes, more universities, more languages and, knock-wood, a better work environment — but there are no details out on that yet.

Blackboard announced it will launch a new MOOC platform by the fall, though, like others, I couldn’t identify it by name or tell how it will be different from the their existing platform, CourseSites, except that it will be custom built for the purpose of hosting MOOCs. It sounds like many of the same classes will be on it.

One interesting class to keep an eye out for on CourseSites or wherever, simply because it is an M.B.A. – level class, which isn’t yet common, is Quantitative Methods for Business from Temple University’s Fox School of Business. No definite start date yet.

A connectivist style MOOC for English language teachers, titled ELT Techniques, is being run on WizIQ for four weeks starting July 29. This one includes live class sessions and collaborative assignments. (For more ideas on professional development for educators this summer, check out these two articles from our contributors.)

We love the idea of those unaffiliated MOOCs, and that gives me an opportunity to let you know that our contributor Sylvia Moessinger will be resuming her MOOC Around the World series this week with two more dispatches, one looking at MOOCs that are independent of a platform and one looking at MOOCs that are independent of any university affiliation. Part 4 will be up on Monday morning.

Another new platform called Versal has three sample courses up: Anatomy and Modeling in Maya (a 3-D illustrator program), Color Play: Color Theory, and Introducation to Disease Ecology. Self-paced, open enrollment. But what’s most interesting is that Versal has a coursebuilder for you to use to design and publish your own MOOCs. They also have a grant program right now for NGO-related classes.

Once you’re done celebrating Bastille Day, check out the French-language MOOCs we stumbled across from the MOOCs Factory at École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. MOOC Factory seems to be a resource to help you design and run your own MOOC. The classes currently listed are in computational math and programming.

As always, if you spotted some MOOC news that didn’t get enough Twitter chatter, make sure we know about it. In the meantime, to get this news roundup in your email box, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.



Robert McGuire (52 Posts)

My content marketing services firm provides all-in-one external staff solutions for companies looking to grow their business through thought leadership. I started MOOC News & Reviews in 2013 out of a fascination with the economic, demographic and technological forces impacting edtech, online education and higher education, and I wanted to provide a forum for serious discussion of this new phenomenon. I love building communities of writers engaging in lively critical dialogue about emerging issues.

One Comment

  1. thanks for that – I’d not heard of Versal or the MOOC factory before. Incidentally, the person who was accepting applications for MOOCS at the MOOC Factory is Pierre Dillenbourg, who was a big name in eLearning 10 years ago, so maybe we can expect some pedagogical improvement on the xMOOCs we’ve seen so far!