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Weekly News Roundup – Canadian, Russian, German MOOCs, etc.


Welcome. Here’s your roundup of MOOC News for June 16, 2013

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Joey Gannon via Flickr

There may be a new nationwide MOOC platform in the mix soon, featuring courses from Canadian colleges and universities. There’s not much to go on yet, but an organization called WorldWideEd says it will have classes running in the fall. We’ve been interested in the question of how the national origin of a MOOC might matter to students, and in an interview related to the launch, the Executive Director Jennie Hyman touches on that question: “Hayman says that WideWorldEd will not only be a way for Canadians to learn but will also help to promote ‘Canadian values,’ like ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘social justice,’ internationally.” Classes from French-speaking and First Nation educators could also make WorldWideEd distinct from other platforms.

We’ll add them to the list. Part 4 of our MOOC Around the World series is on the way.

Speaking of which, Sylvia Moessinger, who is writing that series, has some catching up to do now that the German MOOC platform iversity has announced the winners of its MOOC Fellowship. We’ll cover these ten classes more extensively as they start to go live this fall, but the cool thing I notice about them right off is the multiple languages they’ll be in, including the first example I’ve seen in Russian. The finance class will have two versions, one in English and one “bi-lingual” in English and Spanish.

The biggest announcement this week is mostly for insiders. MOOC Research, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Athabasca University, aims to be a hub for peer-reviewed research, and they’re looking for your research proposal. Two-pagers are due Jule 7.

More and more MOOC opportunities out there are focused on college readiness. (To me, and to our regular contributor Debbie Morrison also, this is one of the clearest advantages of MOOCS.) A new one announced this week is a partnership between edX and the City of Chicago to offer computer science and Python language programming classes to high school students during the city’s Summer of Learning project. The rest of the world is welcome to participate, too.

The Friday Institute at North Carolina State University has another professional development MOOC for educators coming. (And they also seem to be building the brand MOOC-Ed for all their classes, by the way.) Mathematics Learning Trajectories I introduces the concept of Learning Trajectories (LT) as frameworks for interpreting and implementing Common Core State Standards. 6 weeks, starting July 1, registration open now. This one seems to be part of a planned series.

The Syracuse School of Information Studies is running a MOOC called New Librarianship Master Class, July 8 to August 4. It aims to provide a foundation in new librarianship, which, “recasts librarianship and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created through conversation. New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation; they seek to enrich, capture, store, and disseminate the conversations of their communities.” Free to all, and there is a for-a-fee credit-bearing option for Master’s students and those seeking continuing education credits.

A few weeks ago we noted that a MOOC from The National Writing Project would be available soon. Making Learning Connected launched last Saturday, and it’s a little clearer now what it’s about: “#clmooc is a collaborative, knowledge-building and sharing experience open to anyone who’s interested in making, creativity and learning.” Participants will work on creative projects related to their personal or professional interests. If you are working on a project like that, don’t forget our list of 15 Fantastic Resources for Free Art and Images. We have another article coming soon with other kinds of media and sources that help you create your own media.

We’ve been following the progress of the edX code going opensource and of Stanford University including its legacy Class2Go code in what is now known as OpenEdX. Stanford announced this week that their first classes on the new platform are ready to go, and in the details is a glimpse of what opensource will mean:

Stanford developers contributed functionality such as real-time chat, bulk email, new installation scripts, operations tools and integration with external survey tools to the edX platform for its open-source release.

That open-source release means the platform is available for use by other universities and educational providers. Courses can be hosted internally by a university or externally using a third-party hosting service. When using an open-source platform, universities control the licenses for their content and can release content in a variety of configurations to a variety of audiences without special permission from a platform owner.

Udacity’s Second Annual Global Meetup Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 20. R.S.V.P. for the meetups already organized in major U.S. cities or plan your own local event.

Get your Coursera swag here. Proceeds from t-shirt and coffee mug sales go to Coursera’s financial aid program. Why is financial aid needed for free education? For the freemium part — fees for verified Signature Track certificates. Understandably, the fees are out of reach for people in many parts of the world where the certificates may have even more value in the market place than they do in the U.S. Okay, but I thought the whole point of MOOCs was the zero marginal expense after the first widget. If Coursera wants to give away certificates for free, why can’t they just give them away?

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 subscribe to our newsletter. See you next week!


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.