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News Roundup – Is This Going To Be the Summer of the MOOC?

Welcome. Here’s your roundup of MOOC News for May 26, 2013

Summer of the MOOC 2

from eacuna via Pixabay

It was a relatively light week for MOOC developments, but that gives us time to look at a couple of interesting classes you might not know about, a lot of them starting just in time for the end of the U.S. school year. Summer of the MOOC maybe?

The biggest news is that we’ll see a lot more MOOCs coming from Asia, including China. Five schools in Asia are in the list of 15 total that edX announced will be joining the consortium.

Open2Study, the Australian platform launched that last month and that we’ll be looking at in our part 3 of our MOOC Around the World series tomorrow, claims to have dramatically improved on the MOOC completion rate. Their courses are four weeks long, and the first round of classes that just finished had completion rates over 25% for all enrolled students and over 50% for students who at least started the course after enrolling. (The “low” completion rate of most MOOCs usually counts people who register but never actually visit the classroom.)

The staffing agency Aquent has a new MOOC initiative called Gymnasium following up on their Summer of Learning experiment last year. They are preparing a class called Coding For Designers, date unannounced.

Did you hear about the professors at San Jose State University? I don’t mean the ones using edX materials to flip their on-campus classes, and I don’t mean the ones writing open letters calling on the rest of the guild not to teach MOOCs. I mean the ones who are launching MOOCs of their own?

The SJSU School of Library and Information Science will run Hyperlinked Library MOOC — a.k.a. #hyperlib MOOC — this fall. (Capped at 400 students. ) They say it is, “intended to serve as a professional development opportunity for librarians, library staff and professionals who work in archives and other types of information centers” and that it will have “an emphasis on play, experimentation and social interaction with other learners as part of the program.”

Peer2Peer University is re-running A Gentle Introduction to Python, starting June 17. The organizers call their model a Mechanical MOOC, which is “a very different learning experience than either the cMOOCs or xMOOCs. It is more structured that the former and less structured than the latter.” (If the jargon is new to you, check out our ultimate student guide to cMOOCs and xMOOCs.)

The School of Health and Related Research at The University of Sheffield has some interesting and overlooked MOOCs, such as Health Technology Assessment and Health Inequalities. Sustainable Health Diets is up first, starting June 17. Each is five weeks long, and they describe them as intro courses with “no prior study” in the field required.

The National Writing Project has been teasing a class called Connected Learning MOOC or #clmooc, starting June 15. They’re not offering a lot of information about what it will focus on, but you might infer something from the philosophy at their Summer of Making and Connecting site: “Connected Learning fosters the adaptive, lifelong learners that can flourish in a world of rapid technological change. And by encouraging active engagement with real problems and real needs, it motivates students to realize their potential.”

Given that National Writing Project work covers K-16, this one might be a good MOOC for high school students to look into this summer. For more ideas on that, check out our list of MOOCs good for career exploration and our list of MOOCs that graduating high school seniors can use to help get college ready.

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.