Pages Navigation Menu

News Roundup — Will Your Coursera MOOC Carry Second-Class Status?

Welcome. Here’s your roundup of MOOC News for June 2, 2013

Second Class MOOC

Honoré Daumier – The Second Class Carriage

Futurelearn made some noise at the end of 2012 that they were launching a U.K.-based MOOC platform filled with classes from, as of now, 21 U.K. universities. Like a lot of people, I assumed that meant they were ready to launch, but there’s been no sign that classes will be commencing. Last week, however, something of a timeline could be inferred from an interview in which Simon Nelson, Futurelearn’s chief executive, said the platform will be designed “for mobile first.” Classes start in August, he says, and he hints in the Times Higher Education story that more established MOOC providers are “old-fashioned” for not implementing mobile as much as he talks about implementing it. I guess we’ll be able to judge in August.

Meanwhile, among those established players . . .

Did you hear that Coursera added 10 new state university systems to their MOOC network? (Some of those systems have more than 21 universities each, by the way.) The basic details have been everywhere, so I’ll just let you get it from the press release.

However, I do want to draw your attention to one detail deep down in the Inside Higher Ed reporting on this deal:

To partner with so many institutions, however, Coursera will sidestep a contractual obligation to primarily offer courses from members of the Association of American Universities or “top five” universities in countries outside of North America. It will do so by creating a new section of its website to house material from the less-than-elite state universities. This different section will offer MOOCs but will be branded in a different way.

Hatch said SUNY, which has two AAU institutions (Stony Brook University and University at Buffalo), was not quite thrilled with the segregation.

“We’re not totally happy about it, but we understand the perspective of where Coursera partners started from,” he said. “We hope through the course of time where they end will be something different.”

The University of Colorado system is glad it can offer more MOOCs from all its campuses on Coursera. Its Boulder campus is an AAU institution and existing Coursera partner, but its three other campuses are not.

Real classy.

More Arabic-language MOOCs are on the way, sort of. We’ve included news on Coursera’s translation efforts before. Typically this means that transcripts of existing videos and some other materials will be translated, but not necessarily the exams or other readings. The videos themselves are still in English. It wasn’t clear before, but now we see that one of the partners Taghreedat, will produce those translations in Arabic, starting with two courses — Stanford University’s Math Think and Duke University’s Behavioral Economics.

This one is time sensitive: If you want a glimpse of a new MOOC platform called OpenMOOC, check out the stream of the Teaching and Learning Online With Multimedia session of the TERENA Networking Conference, 4p.m. Paris time tomorrow, June 3.

We’ve been keeping an eye on how the corporate world uses the MOOC concept for training, recruitment or promotion, and we now have a pretty interesting example of that provided by SAP, the German business software company. openSAP offers free open courses in information technology with a special emphasis, of course, on using SAP products like HANA.

In a similar vein, Google is using MOOCs to help you use Google products. One under-recognized MOOC platform — which we’ll be writing about more soon — is their CourseBuilder, and Google itself runs some MOOCs off of it. The next is Mapping With Google, which will start June 10. Taught by Google Maps product managers, it will cover how to create and share custom maps using Google Maps Engine Lite and how to create tours using Google Earth. Bonus feature: “All registrants will receive an invitation to preview the new Google Maps.”

We discussed other examples of this kind of thing ourselves earlier this week in our profile of Instreamia, the language learning software start-up that offers Spanish MOOC and #llmooc, which, while providing a service, help demonstrate the product and bring potential customers into the fold.

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.